The food you feed your baby during his or her first years has an enormous impact on their development and long-term health. I strongly encourage all mothers to do everything possible to exclusively breast-feed for least six months or longer for this reason, as breast-feeding has tremendous benefits for both mother and child. It may even be a good idea to begin planning for successful breast-feeding before your baby is even born. If it turns out you can't breast-feed, then you can't, but it's good to have an optimal goal.
La Leche League1 is a great resource whether you want to prepare beforehand or find you're having trouble breast-feeding once your baby is born. Also find out whether your hospital of choice offers breast-feeding classes and lactation consultants. If it doesn't, you may want to select a hospital that offers greater support. If for whatever reason you're unable to breast-feed, or you have adopted your newborn, donated breast milk may be an option.
Like the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF), I do not recommend using human milk banks, though, as they require the milk to be pasteurized. An alternative may be to work with a physician or pediatrician who is willing to help you find a safe milk donor, and who will be involved in a screening process to ensure the milk is safe. If neither breast-feeding nor milk donation work out, your next best bet is to make your own infant formula.
The Strong Case Against Commercial Infant Formulas
I recommend avoiding commercial infant formulas as much as possible, including organic brands. For starters, most are far too high in refined sugar for optimal health. Infant formula can contain as much sugar as a can of soda, and this processed fructose has none of the benefits of the natural sugars found in breast milk. Instead, just like soda, it comes with a long list of adverse metabolic effects, raising your child's risk for obesity, diabetes2 and related health problems, both in the short and long term.3
Most formulas also contain a number of other questionable ingredients4 — including genetically modified organisms5 (GMOs), synthetic vitamins, inorganic minerals, excessive protein and harmful fats — while lacking vital immune-boosting nutrients found in breast milk.
As noted by WAPF,6 since 1980, more than 20 infant formula recalls have been issued due to contamination with pathogens, heavy metals, arsenic,7 perchlorate (an ingredient in rocket fuel), foreign substances such as glass or melamine, inadequate nutrition and more. Compared to breast-fed babies, studies have also shown that bottle-fed babies have:8
A 14 times higher hospitalization rate
Double the risk of infant death
Fourfold higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome
More frequent and more severe upper respiratory infections and gastrointestinal problems
Nursing Versus Bottle Feeding — Beyond Nutrition
The video above shows the mechanics of breast-feeding using ultrasound. A vacuum is created when the middle of the baby's tongue comes down, which helps express milk from the breast. Next, the forward part of the baby's tongue pushes the mother's nipple inside, right behind the two front teeth.
This motion explains why ancestral feeding widens the jaw, and pushes both the upper and lower jaws forward. It also pushes the cheekbones in the mid-face forward. Add to that restricted frenula, and the tongue, lips and cheek do not usually allow the baby to breast-feed normally.
The sucking motion on the breast essentially acts like a piston that pushes the baby's mid-face outward. When a child is bottle fed, none of this happens, resulting in a narrow facial structure, poorly defined jaw and jaw misalignment. The anatomically incorrect palate and poorly aligned jaw bone also crowd teeth, resulting in crooked teeth.