Since babies grow at rapid rates that means their bones are too. The nutrients babies receive as infants and toddlers can actually determine the standard of health for them when they get older. Knowing how crucial nutrition is for children's development, moms are faced with a big decision when consider which route they should take: breast-feeding or formula-feeding?
What The Experts Say
According to Mayo Clinic, "breast-feeding is the recommended way to feed a newborn. Depending on the circumstances, however, various factors might lead you to consider formula-feeding."
It's recommended to feed your baby breast milk exclusively for the first six months since it has all the right nutrients to help your baby grow, build a strong immune system, and develop a healthy diet/lifestyle from the start. However, some doctors say that breast milk doesn't always have the ample amount of Vitamin D, which helps the baby absorb enough calcium and phosphorous (nutrients that are foundational to building strong bones). Therefore, it can be recommended that Vitamin D supplements should be used in addition to breast-feeding.
What If You Can't Breast-feed?
Although breast-feeding is known to be the best way to feed a newborn, studies also show that about 1-5% of women can't produce enough milk to feed their baby. For whatever reason this may be, this would fall under one of the "various factors" Mayo Clinic mentions that might lead a mother to choosing formula-feeding instead.
Some mothers that can't breastfeed may feel stigmatized, but it's important to realize that formula-feeding will get the job done too... and that's nothing to feel bad about. Some formulas are even made to have more nutrients so women don't have to give their babies Vitamin D supplements additionally.
In reality, both forms of feeding will give the baby what he or she needs. Experts do tend to suggest breast-feeding as the preferred option if that's possible because of the many benefits it provides for the mother and child (heck, it's free too!), but formula-feeding is a great alternative as long as it is nutrient packed.
In our field of radiology and imaging, we know how important it is to keep our bones healthy, so we encourage all parent's to start their baby off on the right foot and build up their bones with good nutrition. If you have additional questions or imaging needs, feel free to contact us at anytime!