New Moms

Breastfed Babies Not Necessarily Healthier than Formula-Fed Babies

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

Breastfeeding your baby may improve his or her chances of having a strong immune system, but it doesn't guarantee he or she won't get sick.

According to Dr. Scott Cohen of, it's a myth that breastfed babies are always healthier than formula-fed babies. Their level of health depends on their circumstances. Dr. Cohen used his two daughters as examples. They were both breastfed. His older daughter hardly ever got sick until she started day care and began picking up germs from other kids. His younger daughter, on the other hand, is always sick - because she, too, is subject to the germs her older sister brings home from day care.

It's true that breastfeeding can improve a baby's chances of staying healthy. A baby who nurses is less likely to experience upper respiratory infections, illnesses involving vomiting and diarrhea, and allergies. However, if you don't breastfeed, don't worry that your baby will always be sick: there are many other factors at play when it comes to your baby's health. Do what's best for you, says Dr. Cohen, and don't let anyone make you feel guilty about your choices.