From Breast milk vs. formula: What do the studies really tell us?

Updated: APRIL 20, 2016 — 4:00 AM EDT

by Emiliano Tatar, M.D., Pediatrician at Einstein Healthcare Network Roxborough Plaz

Part II of a Dr. Tatar’s analysis of the data on breastfeeding vs. formula feeding.

…What we know today about breast feeding is based on many studies, but almost all those studies suffer from significant flaws. That is not, in any way, an “anti-breastfeeding” statement. Rather, it’s a statement about supporting those women who choose not to, or can’t breastfeed. Every pediatric practitioner can tell you that nursing can take an emotional and physical toll on some women. When those women forgo nursing, they should be reassured that their babies’ health outcomes and IQ’s will likely be just as positive.

Unfortunately, women can experience shaming and guilt when they choose to skip nursing. For many, nursing is a joy and offers a break in the day when mother and child can be physically attached. But we should not forget good mothering (and fathering) consists of many, many factors which transcend the methods of feeding. Perhaps the most truthful statement, ultimately is “fed is best.”