Is Formula Feeding Dangerous for YOU?


Yep, it's me, writing about the benefits of breastfeeding yet again ... well, kind of.

We all know that breastfeeding is nature's way of healing your body after pregnancy. The longer you breastfeed, the lower your risks of ovarian, uterine, cervical, and breast cancers -- even rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, blah blah blah. The list goes on forever.

I wanted to title this post something like "When It Comes to Breastfeeding 'Some Is Better Than None' Applies to Your Health, Too," but that was really long and bulky and didn't fit my guidelines.

Maybe I can call this: "Formula Feeding Gives Mom Diabetes" ... okay, okay. That's not quite accurate and is kinda sensationalist.

Let's just stick with this fact ...

Breastfeeding significantly lowers your risk of having Type 2 diabetes. Even just a little bit of breastfeeding.

A study examined and questioned over 2,000 women from California (around 400 were not mothers), and asked them about their physical activity, births and pregnancies if any, hysterectomies, how they fed their babies, smoking and alcohol history, and their shoe size. Okay, maybe not the last one. The American Journal of Medicine details the study even more.

The results found that 27 percent of the moms who only formula fed had Type 2 diabetes.

Compare that to women who breastfed for just one to six months at 19 percent, and women who nursed more than six months at 16 percent. Just one month of breastfeeding significantly lowers your risk. One month! Surprising and great news since a lot of previously mentioned benefits aren't measurable with less than six months of breastfeeding.

They also discovered that rate in moms who formula fed was higher than women who never had children.

Yikes, wait, what? Your risk of Type 2 diabetes is twice as high if you formula feed than if you've never had children at all, regardless of BMI or how physically active you were later in life. Why does this happen?

Maybe that title up there about formula feeding is a little more accurate than I thought. Breastfeeding shrinks the uterus back down, which helps prevent complications. I think it's obvious that the calories breastfeeding burns probably are helping moms lose the extra fat that were only biologically necessary during pregnancy, right?

They also mention that women who nursed for less than a month at least reduced their risk back to comparable levels with the women who had never had children. Just one month negates the increased risk.

Even if you choose to formula feed, it's worth it not only to your baby but to yourself to nurse some -- even just one month if you can (and it doesn't say exclusively!). It can significantly lower your chance of Type 2 diabetes, and of course, your baby's as well.


Image via ToddlerBrain82/CafeMom

breastfeeding, formula, newborns


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carso... carsonsmommytam

My son was fed breastmilk for 7 weeks (wish it was more). I was proud to have gotten that in him. And with the high risk of diabetes i already have with my family history of diabetes and having gestational diabetes myself, anything to reduce the risk helps. :)

ethan... ethans_momma06

Our bodies are meant to function a certain way for a reason. When you inhibit that function for whatever reason, it so happens that there will be consequences- whether you want them or not, wether it was "your fault" or not. This type of infrmation is always incredible, but makes me a little sad. Don't just bf for baby- do it for you (if you can obviously).

Melan... MelanieLouise

Yeah, ArmyGal, I know I always bang my head against a wall when I'm presented with facts that prove what I'm doing is probably a pretty stupid decision. Good luck with that guilt.

jeann... jeannesager

Formula feeding is not dangerous for women.

That's not to say that breastfeeding isn't GOOD for women -- it is.

But proving something is good does not mean the inverse is true.

In fact, among this study's failings: it looks at women ages 40 to 78, not the age of today's typical mother. It looks at their CURRENT diet, not their diet at the time of lactation.


Death... Deathlilly

Wow, I'm not one to be calling names or to let things get to me, but you're a real bitch.

While I realize you're just going off the study and have good intentions, that tone you have is really uncalled for. To try and scare other people into doing what YOU believe....THAT. IS. BULLSH*T.

I was technically able to breast feed (and did for 3 weeks), but after thrush, having no help, and the beginnings of PPD I chose formula and it made me a better mother. I had Gestational Diabetes and now have Type 2 Diabetes and for you to try and tell me all that bullsh*t that was just spouted....

I seriously doubt that study took in account family history or made the groups even (as in weight and lifestyle). For all you know the group that got diabetes was already pre-destined to get it or made poor choices in their lives that caused it.

Breastfeeding is the more natural (and most likely healthier) choice, but don't you dare try and belittle mothers that couldn't or chose not to. We're all trying to take good care of our children and breastfeeding does not automatically make you a healtier or better person.

RanaA... RanaAurora

I also wanted to include that I hope they do follow-ups to see if maybe pumping once or twice a day for the first month would help negate this increased risk.

For women who have stillbirths, or give their babies up for adoption, that would be a really valuable piece of information.

MTNes... MTNester1

Okay, Deathlilly, WHY did you bother to read this?  You knew going in that it was going to upset you.  No one was belittling YOU in this article.  Your post did that quite well.

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