The recent UNICEF report "From The First Hour of Life" looks at the present state of infant feeding, with particular focus on the benefits of breastfeeding, highlighting the barriers that exist and providing recommendations to overcome them. However, much of the data used to support these recommendations appear unrepresentative of a global population. This article will serve as part 1 of a series of articles attempting to validate the report in its entirety.
Currently, breastfeeding is seen as the best (and some would say, only) choice for feeding babies. And many have fought for years to make this position a cultural norm. But the flip side of this position is that feeding formula, although a perfectly reasonable choice, has come to be seen as a dereliction of a mother's responsibility to guard her baby's welfare. Shouldn't feminists fight harder for freedom to choose?
When family history suggest an infant might be prone to developing allergies or autoimmune disease, the standard advice to parents is often to feed the baby formula in which the protein is broken down, or hydrolyzed. Supposedly, this will make the baby less likely to develop allergies. But a new, rigorous study refutes this idea, and may well have the formula industry hunting for better products.