Breast milk is truly nature’s perfect food for infants. Breastfeeding is best for at least six months (ideally a year or longer). In our industrialized world, mothers can transfer toxic chemicals in their bodies to their infants through breastfeeding, though the benefits of breastfeeding still far outweigh the possible health impacts of these contaminants.
If you must use infant formula–or just choose to do so–for whatever reasons, you will want something that most closely resembles breast milk without high sugar content or harmful synthetic chemical additives. It's best to ask your pediatrician for recommendations based on your child’s specific needs, but here are some considerations:
Most importantly, remember that there are many complex factors that influence your child’s health and development. However you feed your infant, simply do the very best you can without stressing yourself out. Babies are remarkably resilient and giving them your love and attention is the cornerstone of their wellbeing.
“Benefits of Breastfeeding” (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2019)
“Choosing an Infant Formula” (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2015)
Connect with one of these Environmental Health Advocacy Organizations: