Breast Milk: The Only Food That Baby Needs. This paper describes why breast feeding is most beneficial to a baby and the mother as well.

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Breast-Milk: The Only Food That Baby Needs

Women become mothers every day of the year. And the most common debate (other than a name for the baby) is whether to breast-feed or bottle-feed the baby. While some cultures do not have that option due to lack of money, and they are forced to breast-feed, millions of women have to make this decision. Breast-feeding is more beneficial than bottle-feeding, not only for the baby, but for the mother as well. And there are many reasons to promote breast-feeding.

One reason to promote breast-feeding is the fact that the protein in the breast milk is easier for the baby to digest than commercialized formulas. This allows the breast milk to be more easily digested than cow's milk. "Human milk contains just the right amount of fatty acids, lactose, water, and amino acids for human digestion, brain development, and growth." (Breast Feeding or Formula?) Breast milk can also prevent against dehydration due to lower levels of calcium, phosphorous, protein, sodium, and potassium than cow's milk.

The fatty acids in breast milk help brain development and vision as well.

Another benefit to the baby is that breast milk helps to prevent against things such as gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, otitis media, some cancers, juvenile diabetes, and allergic reactions. Breast milk also helps prevent against allergies. This is, in part, due to the presence of colostrum in the mother's breast milk for the first few days after birth. Colostrum contains antibodies that help prevent infection and disease, as well as allergies. It is also richer in vitamins and minerals, such as protein than mature milk. It is also slightly lower in fat, yet is richer in fatty acids. "About 80% of cells in breast milk are macrophages, cells that kill bacteria, fungi and viruses." (Breast...