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Pollutants can accumulate in breast milk, but it still remains superior to infant formula in regards to the overall health of both mother and child.
Formula feeding may cause the child to develop allergies (although the evidence for this is inconclusive) and may lead to obesity later in life. Finally, formula may have contaminants in it such as melamine, cronobacter, salmonella, or botulism (Lönnerdal, 2014). Breastfeeding is often difficult for working mothers because they are away from their infants eight or more hours a day. If the child is receiving breast milk exclusively, the mother must express the milk while she is at work and arrange to freeze it immediately so that it will be safe. Federal law specifies that employers with more than 50 employees must provide breaks for working mothers who need to express milk, as well as a private location other than a bathroom. Some states have similar or broader laws (U.S. Department of Labor, 2016). Unfortunately, most of these laws lack enforcement procedures, so employers know that they can break the law with impunity.
These decisions include, where to send the child to daycare, what kind of diapers to use, or which doctor to take them to. One of the most important decisions is whether or not to breastfeed. Doctors and nurses around the country suggest that breastfeeding has many benefits. These benefits are not only benefits for the baby, but also benefits for the mother.
Lönnerdal, B. (2014). Infant formula and infant nutrition: bioactive proteins of human milk and implications for composition of infant formulas. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 99(3), 712S-717S.
Salone, L. R., Vann, W. F., & Dee, D. L. (2013). Breastfeeding: an overview of oral and general health benefits. The Journal of the American Dental Association, 144(2), 143-151.
Tham, R., Bowatte, G., Dharmage, S. C., Tan, D. J., Lau, M. X. Z., Dai, X., … & Lodge, C. J. (2015). Breastfeeding and the risk of dental caries: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Acta Paediatrica, 104(S467), 62-84.
U.S. Department of Labor. (2016). Fact Sheet #73: Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA.
Victora, C. G., Bahl, R., Barros, A. J., França, G. V., Horton, S., Krasevec, J., … & Group, T. L. B. S. (2016). Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. The Lancet, 387(10017), 475-490.