Thursday, April 9, 2009

Formula is Wonderful

That is according to Dr. Nancy Snyderman, a woman who combines an active surgical practice of head and neck surgery with her role as a medical correspondent for ABC News. She is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology in head and neck surgery, and specializes in head and neck cancer.

How is it that a surgeon specializing in cancer is getting national press for her expert opinion on feeding an infant?

Why does mainstream America blindly follow these celebrity doctors?

Is she being paid by a formula company to make these statements?

The infant formula market in the United States is estimated at US$3.9 billion for 2007. Infant formula is big business folks: Big, Dirty, Unethical Business that is declining. Just consider the following:

Global baby foods and infant formula market continues to be affected by the changing consumer trends and declining birth rates. Concern for health and fitness; safety and nutritional awareness are major trends expected to influence the industry in the coming years. -Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

I reprinted 101 Reasons To Breastfeed a few months ago, you can see the entire article with footnotes by clicking on I pulled the following information out of the article about formula to illustrate just how "wonderful" formula is.

1.Formula feeding increases baby girls' risk of developing breast cancer in later life

Women who were formula-fed as infants have higher rates of breast cancer as adults. For both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, women who were breastfed as children, even if only for a short time, had a 25% lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who were bottle-fed as infants.

2.Formula Feeding is associated with lower I.Q

Human breast milk enhances brain development and improves cognitive development in ways that formula cannot. One study has found that the average I.Q. of 7 and 8 year old children who had been breastfed as babies was 10 points higher than their bottle fed peers. All of the children involved had been born prematurely and tube fed the human milk, indicating that the milk itself, not the act of breastfeeding, caused this difference in I.Q. level. Another study to support this statement was done in New Zealand. Here an 18 year longitudinal study of over 1,000 children found that those who were breastfed as infants had both higher intelligence and greater academic achievement than children who were infant-formula fed.

3. Formula increases the risk of diabetes

There are many studies linking development of insulin dependant Type I diabetes (formerly referred to as "juvenile diabetes") to lack of breastfeeding. The results of a study from Finland suggest that the introduction of dairy products at an early age, and high milk consumption during childhood increase the level of cow's milk antibodies in the children's systems. This factor is associated with an increased risk of insulin dependent diabetes. Now a new study has indicated that breastfeeding in infancy may help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. This sort of diabetes was formerly referred to as "adult onset" diabetes, but has been mysteriously occurring in more and more youngsters.

4. Formula feeding may increase risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

According to Dr. William Sears, MD, cow's milk should not be given as a beverage to infants under one year of age. "Cow's milk can irritate the lining of your infant's intestines, causing tiny losses of iron. This can contribute to iron-deficiency anemia."

5. Formula-fed babies are more at risk for obesity in later life

A study of 32200 Scottish 3 year old children found that the incidence of obesity was significantly lower among those who had been breastfed, after adjusting for socioeconomic status, birthweight and gender. Another study, this one of Czech children, found that the even older children (6 -14) who had been breastfed were less at risk for overweight/obesity. Additionally, a German study found that 4.5% of formula fed children are obese, while only 0.8% of breastfed children have this condition

6. Bottle-fed babies are at increased risk of cardiopulmonary disturbances, including prolonged airway closure and obstructed respiratory breaths due to repeated swallowing.

According to one study, infants can experience oxygen saturation below 90% when bottle feeding. Nine of 50 healthy term infants in one study experienced bradycardia during bottle feeding. Six of these episodes were preceded by apnea, three showed hypopnea (marked reduction in ventilation) and one had certral apnea (no respiratory efforts).

7. Formula is expensive

It presently costs upward of $1,200 dollars per year to formula feed an infant in the United States. If you factor in the added medical cost you are statistically likely to incur, that brings the cost up to around $2,500 per year. If your baby happens to require a hypo-allergenic formula, you will have to pay considerably more

8. Formula costs the government (and taxpayers) millions of dollars

The U.S. government spends more than $2,665,715 a year to provide formula for the children of non-breastfeeding mothers participating in the WIC supplemental food program. Of course, this doesn't take into consideration the additional costs of caring for those infants who are statistically much more likely to get sick. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, higher breastfeeding rates could reduce US health care costs by $3.6 billion per year.

So Dr. Snyderman, are your insinuating that the risks of SIDS, childhood obesity, diabetes, lower IQ's and breast cancer are wonderful? Or maybe it's the cost to us, the taxpayers. You claim that their is no scientific proof that formula is dangerous, I find that hard to believe. Promom is chock full of scientific studies done regarding the effects of formula. Seeing as pediatrics aren't your speciality, I can understand your ignorance on the topic, but please don't spread ignorance around.

According to the World Health Organization, the safest and best way to feed a baby is:

1. Breastfeed
2. Breastmilk pumped in a bottle
3. Donor Breastmilk
4. Formula

Formula is #4! There are milk banks, milk share groups and all sorts of mothers willing to donate breastmilk. Giving mother's an OK that formula is safe is irresponsible and erroneous. Please Dr. Snyderman, don't make it so that parents feel validated about formula feeding. It is not wonderful unless the parents are out of options.

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