Both Formula & Breast Milk Were Put to the Test -- but Only 1 Wiped Out This Bacteria

Breast milk and formula experiment
Jessica Wilson/Facebook

Many moms who opt to nurse view their milk as "liquid gold" or simply magical because it nourishes their children. Although formula also does this, it doesn't offer the same disease-fighting antibodies. As a new mom and biology major, Jessica Wilson was curious about this, as well as how the ingredients added to formula attempt to mimic breast milk. She decided to put it to the test, and her viral results prove what many already knew but had never been able to see: breast milk is insanely powerful.

  • This science project compares breast milk and formula's ability to fight the same bacteria.

    "I did the investigation as formula companies claim they are the closest thing to breast milk and that antimicrobial properties are added to the milk. I did it really to see how true it was and how well it worked in comparison," the mom from England tells CafeMom.

    Wilson used her own freshly expressed milk, as well as one brand of formula, to soak four small disks per liquid. She then placed the disks in different petri dishes with the same strain of bacteria, micrococcus luteus, and recorded the results after 24 hours. "As you can see, the clear circles around the disks is where the breast milk has fought off the bacteria and nearly cleared the plate, the formula on the other hand has had no effect and the bacteria has completely over run the plate, even moving the disks," she wrote on Facebook. "Proof boobs are magical and breast really is best! Be proud of what you're giving your babies." 

    More from CafeMom: Yes, This New Mom Is in Hospital Panties & It's the Postpartum Pic She Wants the World to See

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  • Wilson admits that even she was surprised by the results.

    Wilson explained that she's been breastfeeding her son for 17 months and didn't know much about it before starting her journey. Now, she's hoping to expand her experiment after getting a clear outcome that wasn't what she expected. "I was surprised by the results because I did expect a slightly positive result from the formula," she tells us. "I'm looking to do another project in the near future of different types of formula to see if it makes a difference; I doubt it will as they all contain the same ingredients."

  • Many are sharing her photo because seeing the power of breast milk is different than just knowing about it.

    "Our bodies are simply amazing!" another user commented on Facebook.

  • Naturally, it quickly turned into a formula-shaming debate on Facebook.

    After the post was shared on Breastfeeding Mama Talk's Facebook page, it quickly sparked a heated debate -- but not about the experiment itself. 

  • Some said the experiment shames moms who use formula, and they don't take that lightly.

    "This in no way shames moms who formula feed. It was an experiment, she posted the results. Simple as that..." Kristy of Breastfeeding Mama Talk responded on Facebook. "Don't turn this into a formula/Fed is best Vs Breast is best sh*t show. Thanks."

    More from CafeMom: Mom Seriously Confused After Her Breast Milk Turns Bright Pink

  • Others view it as proof that their hard work breastfeeding is paying off and deserves to be celebrated.

    "I am so sick and tired of every single post that says something positive about breastfeeding getting refuted with, 'Well fed is best' or 'Not everyone can or wants to breastfeed,'" Kristy added. "Like where in the post does it say that everyone can or should breastfeed? Where does it say starve your child to avoid them formula if you can't breastfeed?" 

  • But let's hope that how you feed your child doesn't make you miss the point of this experiment.

    Whether you choose to use it or not, breast milk is capable of some pretty amazing things.