BREAST is best – or is it? Barely a week goes by without a new study claiming breastmilk is no more beneficial than artificial formula.

This week it was the turn of the University of Chicago which ran a tiny study on just 200 children and proclaimed breastfed babies were just as likely to have hayfever, asthma, eczema and food allergies as those who were bottle fed.

Now it could be that the University is just milking it for the publicity, but this paper contradicts long-standing and extensive research from Unicef which found breastfed babies had a lower risk of five different allergies.

So as a parent or parent-to-be, where does that leave you? Confused, I bet!

Now we all want the best for our children and not everyone can breastfeed, but for those of us who can, it’s my belief that breastmilk is best for your baby.

Breastmilk is the natural way to feed your child and has been developed over millions of years. It changes to suit the needs of the baby and helps protect mum from a range of health conditions too.

Formula has been used for barely 100 years, and although the science behind it may be well meaning, let’s not forget it’s a commercial product that most families just don’t need to buy. Used wrongly or under unsanitary conditions, it can be dangerous, as a string of heart-breaking cases around the world have shown.

But whatever you decide to do – breast, bottle or a bit of both – make sure it’s the right decision for your family. It’s easy to get swayed by the slew of articles but think what feels right for you and your baby, and you’ll come to the best decision.

If you need help breastfeeding, I’d wholeheartedly recommend http://www.nationalbreastfeedinghelpline.org.uk where you can talk to mums who understand the issues and how you’re feeling.

I wish you the breast of luck!

With love, Sharon x

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