An excerpt from our August (2010) newsletter cites a new study published in the journal Pediatrics. The article talks about health care savings, but much more importantly saving the lives of nearly 1,000 (estimate) infant deaths annually. The excerpt also claims “... nearly 1,000 infant deaths could be prevented if more mothers would breastfeed at least six months, beginning immediately after birth.”
As a female chiropractor, I recommend breast feeding for a minimum of the first six months of a child's life. If mom and baby are willing, I also recommend continuing breast feeding through the first year.
Why? According to the the journal: “Because breast milk is nature’s perfect food. It supplies everything the baby needs for optimal brain and body development. Breast milk contains antibodies that protect infants from bacterial and viral infections. More importantly, breast milk contains things necessary for health that have not yet been discovered. Also breastfeeding benefits the child emotionally and helps neurological development. Formula simply does not give a child what he/she needs for optimal growth, development and health. Formula made from soymilk is especially damaging to infants and may cause developmental and sexual problems later in life.”
Additional benefits may include: preventing allergies, boosting intelligence, preventing obesity, lowering the risk of SIDS. It also may help mom reduce stress levels and risk of postpartum depression as well as the risk of cancer. Additionally, it creates a special bond between mom and baby. With all of these benefits, why wouldn’t every mother want to breast feed?
Many pediatricians encourage women to formula feed if their baby is not growing according to their growth charts. However, these growth charts are based on formula fed babies. Healthy breast fed infants tend to grow more rapidly than formula-fed infants in the first 2-3 months of life and less rapidly from 3-12 months. (http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/growth/growthcharts.html)
We recognize that some women experience difficulty breast feeding and thus turn to formula. If you are among those having a difficult time there is help available. Ask the nursing staff to help if you are still in the hospital. Look for a Certified Lactation Specialist once you are out of the hospital. Kris Rauschert (Certified Lactation Specialist), A Special Bond, Inc., is available by appointment in our office to help women with breast feeding.
In addition, many infants have difficulty and discomfort breast feeding because of misalignments in the spine and jaw. In a study by Dr. S. Vallone, 80% of infants that received chiropractic adjustments showed improvement in attachment and ability to breast feed. Bring your infant into our office to be checked before turning to formula to solve any difficulties you or your child may be having. The solution may well be a gentle infant chiropractic adjustment. Both Dr. Quintin and myself want you and your baby to live long and healthy lives together.
Photo courtesy of Carin Araujo, www.carinaraujo.com, Puerto Rico