There’s no question that breastfeeding your new born baby has its medical benefits, but the long term benefits are not so different for non-breast fed babies.
A new study has found that the benefits of brain development and behavior from breastfeeding start to fade away by the time the child turns five.
Pediatrician Ruth Lawrence from University of Rochester says choosing whether to breast feed or not can be a difficult decision for a new mother but breast milk is beneficial for both the mother and child.
“It’s the best nutrition, they can easily digest and absorb all the goodies, it protects against infection and probably the most common infection in the first year of life is an ear infection, so it reduces the ear infections, pneumonias, colds other things like that,” said Lawrence.
Not to mention the benefits it has on the mother. They will return to their pregnancy state more rapidly. Also they have a less chance of getting breast cancer, and osteoporosis in their old age.
But when you’re a mother with a busy schedule being readily available every two to four hours can sometimes seem impossible.
For that reason some mothers choose to not breast feed.
We told these mothers that the benefits of breast milk weren’t so different than non-breast milk in the long run but it didn’t seem to change how they felt.
“It might not have effects after five just based on those things alone but really it’s the foundation so if they get sick they get other things that are associated with formula verse breast milk, they might get sicker down the road,” said Alissa Johnson.
“Just that bonding with mother and baby, skin to skin contact, bonding. Not that you can’t bond with the bottle it’s just all these natural things that kind of makes you realize that that’s what we’re made for,” said Tanai Pirela.
For soon-to-be-new parents, it’s important to read the literature and talk to your physician to understand what works best for you and your baby whether you choose to breast feed or not.