Breastfeeding Formula. Research Paper
Research question: ‘Infant formula should not be allowed. Based on evidence from your research, to what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?’
In the medical field, promotion of breastfeeding is encouraged especially by a majority of the paediatricians. Breastfeeding is seen as a primary source of protection against infant mortality all over the world. However, the support of infant formula instead of breast milk is a challenge that is encountered not only in developing nations but also in developed nations. Infant formula is a problem in developed nations regarding high prevalence of low intelligence quotient, adult ill health, and morbidity. From this perspective, infant formula is considered a method of feeding that should be prevented to promote health in children (Wright & Waterston, 2006, p.383).
Some individuals feel that infant formula should not be allowed because of the danger it poses not only to the baby’s health but also their mother’s well-being. On the other hand, some individuals are of the opinion that infant formula is useful and helpful especially in situations where a mother dies, is sick or working at the time an infant is still young. From this perspective, infant formula should be allowed. First of all, I will give a brief overview of formula feeding and breastfeeding. Infant formula is a form of artificial feeding that provides for the nutritional needs of children. The formula has a different nutritional status as compared to breast milk. As a matter of fact, the composition of infant formula has changed over the years with the advance in the understanding of infant nutrition. Infant formula has a variation in its bioavailability and digestibility of nutrients compared to human milk. To achieve a digestibility performance of formula-fed infants similar to breastfed infants, a broad range of modifications is undertaken on the concentrations of nutrients along with their sources. The problem of protein digestibility in infants fed with formula milk is caused by the process of heat processing. Nevertheless, infant formula provides a high intake of proteins, which is manifested through a high concentration of blood urea nitrogen and plasma amino acids (Lönnerdal 2014, p. 712S -713S).
From this point of view, it is clear that formula feeding does not give balanced nutrients to infants and hence the need to reconsider its use. On the other hand, breast milk is a form of feeding where an infant is given human milk. Breastfeeding is connected to better cognitive development and safeguards a baby against atopy (a genetically based disease where infants tend to be hypersensitive in their response to triggers and allergens), childhood obesity, and allergy. Nevertheless, the rate of successful breastfeeding is low in western countries. The duration and prevalence of breastfeeding is linked to a complicated pattern of economic, physical, social and behavioral aspects (De Lauzon-Guillain et al. 2012, p. 1).
A research carried out by De Lauzon-Guillain et al. (2012, p. 1), discloses that approximately 76% of mothers in the UK initiate breastfeeding but at six months, …