Breastfeeding better for babies’ weight than pumped breast milk
According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, breast milk in a bottle doesn’t have the same benefits as breast milk directly from the breast when it comes to healthy infant weight gain.
In the study, breastfeeding was associated with lower
BMI and a lower risk of rapid weight gain. This benefit got stronger with longer and more exclusive breastfeeding. The results of the study showed that the benefit of breast milk diminished when babies were fed pumped milk from bottles.
Study author and research scientist at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, Dr Meghan
Azad, said there are a few possible explanations for this difference. One is that some of the goodness (enzymes, hormones, antibodies) might become inactive when breast milk is frozen. The second could be that a breastfed baby will self-regulate and stop eating when he is full, but bottle-feeding moms tend to urge their baby to finish the bottle, leading the baby to be overfed and unable to learn self-regulation. However, more research is needed on the topic.