Another Reason to Breastfeed: Helping Your Baby's Vision

Adding to the many reasons why breastfeeding is superior to formula-feeding, a new study found that breast-fed children have better eyesight than formula-fed kids. When tested, the kids who were breast-fed were significantly more likely to have greater stereo-acuity, an important measure of depth perception, than children who were fed formula.

The researchers believe the fatty acid DHA, which is found in greater concentrations in breast milk than in formula, may be responsible for the beneficial effect.

Along with improving eyesight, breastfeeding provides your child with a range of health benefits, including a strong immune system, better brain function, a reduced risk of obesity and emotional bonding. Breastfeeding is beneficial for mom too, reducing her risk of breast and ovarian cancers and osteoporosis later in life, while helping her to return to her pre-pregnancy weight faster.

There are at least 400 nutrients in breast milk that are not found in formula, and I encourage all new moms to breastfeed their child. The longer you do this, the better, but even a short time of breastfeeding is better than none at all. That said, I understand that there are certain conditions and circumstances that may prevent you from being able to breastfeed. If this is the case, you can make a healthy infant formula using raw milk (and should completely AVOID soy infant formula at all costs).

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition January 2007, Vol. 85, No. 1, 152-159

Yahoo News February 7, 2007

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