Discover the important differences between breast milk and formula
No matter how hard pharmaceutical companies try to imitate breast milk by adding all kinds of additional nutrients, the differences between human milk and baby formula remain abysmal …
Today, and much doubt that things will change in the future, breast milk remains the only food capable of covering at 100% the physiological needs of the baby .
We will then check the differences between breast milk and artificial milk , but for now, suffice it to say that human milk contains all the nutrients, antibodies and substances necessary for the baby to acquire its own defense mechanisms. It’s ideal to offer breast milk from the first months of life until the teeth appear , a sign that the baby is prepared to take solid foods. However, many women continue to breastfeed their children, or supplement the diet, up to age 2 or even more.
We are very much in favor of intuition (something that develops considerably when it comes to motherhood), and listen to our inner voice, as well as the baby’s primary instincts. That is to say, both when deciding when it is time to wean until the regularity or implantation or not of schedules in the food , depends a lot on each one of us.
It is also important to note that the mother’s diet is an essential factor in providing quality and sufficient milk to infants . For some reference, you can read our articles on nutrition during pregnancy , Unless some kind of disease is suffered (in which case one or a professional should be evaluated), one does not have to go crazy trying a thousand remedies, but simply to follow a balanced diet in which there are plenty of fresh seasonal foods , vegetables , cereals and legumes , moderation in animal protein and if possible, all of organic origin .
Artificial milk or Baby formula
Since cow’s milk differs greatly from human milk , industry has sought to get as close as possible to those essential requirements by modifying the composition of so-called ” infant milk ” to compensate for its deficiencies.
For example, breast milk has less protein and casein than cow’s milk. A artificial milk will often add essential fatty acids and other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals … but we must not forget that the body is a very complex “machine” in which everything affects everything and, being artificial modified , there endless collection of chemical element attached to these products (some of them unknown) necessary for the baby to develop properly and have all the defenses he needs.
Dr. Signalet very rightly points out in his book “Food, Third Medicine” the qualitative and non-quantitative importanceof molecular structure. That is, beyond quantifying the nutrients, it is essential to preserve the quality and interaction of them. He also says that the biggest drawback, as always when it comes to the controversial cow’s milk , is that the body of a baby is not prepared to digest bovine but human proteins.
Perhaps because of this, when these bovine macromolecules pass through the infant’s digestive tract, clinical signs of cow’s milk intolerance appear and antibodies develop. One way of warning intolerances is through colic, vomiting, eczema or respiratory problems.
Breast milk vs. Artificial baby milk
Here we list the primary differences between breast milk and formula , beyond all those qualitative issues we talked about:
Human milk has a very specific ratio of essential amino acids , precisely what the baby requires, since it is an identical genetic composition (as a species), unlike what happens with cows. Cow’s milk contains three times as much protein .
Sugars or carbohydrates
Breast milk has twice as much lactose as cow’s milk. This sugar is essential for the development of the infant’s central nervous system and favors the development of beneficial lactobacilli in the intestine, which in turn favor intestinal transit and protection against pathogenic germs.
Lipids or fats
Human milk is richer in fats , especially essential fatty acids , than cow’s milk. Specifically, it is very abundant in polyunsaturated fatty acids such as linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid, most especially gamma-linolenic acid (exclusive of human milk).
The vitamin needs in the baby are covered with breast milk (although it depends a lot on the mother’s diet). However, the amounts required differ markedly in cow’s milk. For example, cow’s milk contains an excessive amount of vitamin D and folic acid . However, it contains a very small proportion of vitamins A , E and C .
The same is true of minerals and trace elements ; The amounts are decompensated. Cow’s milk contains excessive amounts (relative to the mother) of sodium , calcium , phosphorus , magnesium, and manganese. That is, the amounts included in breast milk are the necessary and work in synergy (a synergy appropriate to our species). On the other hand, although cow’s milk contains a similar amount of iron , the absorption is ten times smaller and leaves residues in the intestine. Also, the absorption of calcium from cow’s milk is deficient.
Breast milk contains a considerable amount of all kinds of defense cells and antibodies that reinforce the baby’s endogenous defenses. On the other hand, hormones secreted by the mother are very different from the type of hormones secreted by the cow, which, although not determinant, does not benefit the baby at all.
For all these reasons, we think that the alternative to breastfeeding is essential and necessary to provide you with the exact nutrients you need. In many cases, there may be factors that make breastfeeding difficult. In that case, the pros and cons should be weighed seriously, and small changes in living habits may be necessary . Who knows? Maybe changing work schedules, even changing jobs or changing clogged habits, will ultimately be of benefit to us as well. Maybe from the first moment, our babies will be real teachers showing us the way.