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I do know that new things are discovered every year in breast milk. Breast milk has tons of ingredients. A Mom's body changes what it produces to meet the needs of their baby, or toddler.
There is a rumor that once the child is past a year that they no longer need momma's milk. While it's true that babies start eating other things, breast milk still has antibodies that is good for them. Breast milk is similar to blood. It changes with the needs of your body.
Riordan & Wambach (2012) state, “Human milk is similar to unstructured living tissue, such as blood, and is capable or transporting nutrients, affecting biochemical systems, enhancing immunity, and destroying pathogens ” They they go on to say, “Breastmilk, like all other animal milks, is species-specific. It has been adapted throughout human existence to meet nutritional and anti-infective requirements of the human infant to ensure optimal growth, development, and survival” (p. 97).
Breast milk is good for children that are sick, and children that are healthy. There is no magic age a baby, or toddler should stop drinking Momma's milk. It's up to the momma and baby to decide when to wean. To be honest weaning begins the moment foods are introduced in a baby's diet. When to stop breast feeding all together is a decision for those involved.
Then things that stay in breast milk after babyhood:
- Antibacterial Properties
- Antimicrobial Properties
- Antifungal Properties
- And More
Formula can be life saving in different situations, but there is no research to support the idea that a toddler should switch to a milk that is specific to a different animal.
People do not/should not all fit into a mold. Some women have trouble breastfeeding, or have to go on medicines that prevent them from breastfeeding.
If a child is sick, and won't eat anything, the fact that they are drinking breast milk that has so many wonderful properties is a big relief. Often times kids don't want to eat anything when they are sick. Doctors want them to have Pedialyte. Pedialyte is fine if they'll drink it. Breast milk naturally has elecrolytes in it.
Formula is marketed for consumers to think that there is more in it than breast milk. This simply is not true. AHA and DHA is naturally produced from breast milk, and synthetically produced in a factory lab for formula.
Here is a portion of what a great ARTICLE mentions about the review of available research and literature by the Who and Cochran Review:
“ARA (promoted as enhancing “visual acuity”) and DHA (touted for advancing “neurological development”) have been added to infant formula since 1997. Both these long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in human breast milk and, in this form, contribute to eye and neurological development. But over the past five years, WHO and the Cochran Collaboration, a London-based research organisation, have published policy statements and studies concluding that ARA and DHA, when used as additives, do not improve infants’ development.”
It goes on to say:
“According to the US Food and Drug Administration, the scientific evidence is ‘mixed’ over the benefits of adding ARA and DHA to baby formula, with no currently available published studies on the long-term impact. ‘Scientists can’t make the same form of ARA and DHA that human breast milk contains,’ said Elizabeth Myler, a spokeswoman for the US-based NGO that promotes breastfeeding, La Leche League International. ‘Instead, they extract it from fermented algae and fungus using a toxic chemical called hexane.’ “
Even though this addition has been made to these formulas, babies are not having any improvements compared to artificially fed babies without ADA and DHA added! Marketing execs are a smart bunch and know how to make a serious amount of money with campaigns such as this…
The World Health Organization recommends the following for babies if their mother cannot breastfeed. The order is in preference from most preferred to least preferred; expressed breast milk from the infant’s own mother , donated breast milk from a healthy wet-nurse or human milk bank, formula.
Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, World Health Organization
Click on this LINK for another great poster listing how little artificial milk has to offer compared to breast milk.
- Lactose (milk)
- vegetable oils
- Enzymatically hydrolysed whey protein (milk)
- Minerals (calcium phosphate, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, ferrous sulphate, zinc sulphate, copper sulphate, calcium carbonate, manganese sulphate, sodium selenate, potassium iodide)
- Maltodextrin, omega LCPUFAs (DHA from fish oil, AA)
- Vitamins [sodium ascorbate (vit C)
- Dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate (vit E)
- Retinyl acetate (vit A)
- Niacinamide (niacin)
- Calcium pantothenate
- Cholecalciferol (vit D3)
- Thiamine mononitrate (vit B1)
- Riboflavin (vit B2)
- Pyridoxine hydrochloride (vit B6)
- Phylloquinone (vit K1)
- Folic acid
- Cyanocobalamin (vit B12)
- L-phenylalanine, L-histidine
- Choline bitartrate
- Acidity regulator (citric acid)
- Taurine, inositol
- Nucleotides (cytidine 5′-monophosphate, uridine 5′-monophosphate, adenosine 5′-monophosphate
- Guanosine 5′-monophosphate
- Culture (bifidus)
- Antioxidant (ascorbyl palmitate)
Starter infant formula. The enzymatically hydrolysed protein source is from cow’s milk.
You can find a source for this article here.