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Go green with breast milk




In a time when we all are concerned about our health and environment and “going green”, it is important as women and mothers to think about what is best for our children, ourselves, and the world we live in. This is why we must breastfeed.

When we think of “going green”, we think of natural products and their health benefits, saving energy, recycling and decreasing pollutants and toxins. One must wonder how breastfeeding can do all these things.

There have been concerns voiced about pollutants that can be absorbed into the breast milk. Breast milk is all natural. It is produces using no other resources and it creates no pollution. The La Leche League has research that shows the benefits of breast milk far outweigh any possible risk from pollutants. Breast milk is the only thing necessary for babies’ physical and mental development up to six months of age. Breastfed babies have fewer incidences of ear infections, allergies, asthma, diarrhea, cancer, SIDS, diabetes, and obesity, just to name a few.

The most important thing about breast milk is that it provides a natural immunity, thus protecting a baby from a lot of our world’s pollutants. These benefits for our babies along should make us want to breastfeed. Besides those benefits to the baby, breastfeeding can also protect the mother from breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer, not only while she breast feeds but through her life. And, the longer she breast feeds the better protection she receives.

In the making of formula, pesticides, fertilizers and antibiotics are used in the production of cow’s milk and soy. The making of formula packaging (plastic, tin and paper) creates toxins. Four hundred and fifty million cans of formula are consumed for every three million bottle-fed babies. Imagine how must waste this makes in our landfills. Energy is also used when heating the water to make or warm formula. Breast milk is just right for baby, straight from the container.

In our hard economic times, we all are looking for a way to pinch pennies. It has been estimated that $429 million could be saved every year if mothers on the Women, Infants, Children Program (WIC) could breastfeed for at least one month. A can of formula costs approximately $13. This does not include a lot of special formulas that many infants need doe to prematurity or other medical conditions. In the first year of life, an infant consumes approximately 70 cans to make an estimated cost of formula for one year of $910.

With all the energy, pollution, and money saved, why would we not breastfeed? And when you think about the benefits to the baby as well as the mother, breastfeeding is just this — a must.


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