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Your Healthy Family: What is the difference between breast milk - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: What is the difference between breast milk and formula?

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The difference between formula and breastmilk is kind of like the difference between better and best The difference between formula and breastmilk is kind of like the difference between better and best
COLORADO SPRINGS -

As part of World Breastfeeding Week, today we're learning about why breast milk is so beneficial to babies and their development.  Dr. Mary Laird is a neonatologist with UCHealth Memorial in Colorado Springs.

"Human milk is very specifically designed biologically for human babies.  In the neonatal ICU we specifically know that babies benefit from human milk.  Mom's really want to be able to provide this very special thing for their own baby, and we support and encourage that, and want to make that happen"

There is certainly nothing harmful with formula or supplementing breastfeeding with formula when needed.  The difference between formula and breast milk is kind of like the difference between better and best says Dr. Laird.

“Most formula is made from cow's milk.  Every mammal feeds their baby by milk, but every mammals milk is different, it's specifically beneficial for their own offspring.  When formulas are made for human babies from cow's milk they may provide the nutrition babies need but they are immunologic properties of human milk that only human milk can provide.”

Besides the health benefits there's also the bonding experience that moms have their children through breastfeeding.  However, even for moms whose greatest desire is to breastfeed their children sometimes it's real challenge says Dr. Laird.

“There are times when it cannot happen at all for a variety of reasons.  There are many more times when the baby's current needs and the mother's ability to express enough milk for her baby are not met.”

When that happens donor milk from other moms is the first and best option says Dr. Laird and we'll learn more about that, and hear from a Colorado Springs woman who became a breast milk donor, the process she had to go through, and why.  

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