August 1st marks the start of World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7), as well as National Breastfeeding Month. All month long, families are celebrating the incredible benefits of breastfeeding. As consistent scientific evidence presents itself, breastfeeding saves lives by protecting babies from life-threatening infections and illnesses. Not to mention, that breastfeeding also is cost effecting and is better for the planet. Dr. Milliron shares with us some interesting tips on the environmentally friendliness and sustainability of breastfeeding
Breastmilk is the most locally produced, environmentally friendly, and sustainable food that you can feed your baby and gives babies all the nutrients they need for the first several months of their life!
Breast milk requires no packaging, shipping, or advertising, saving natural resources like glass, plastic, metal, and paper. It generates no trash for landfills.
By breastfeeding your baby, you are saving on electricity or fuel that is used in the preparation and manufacturing of infant formula. Feeding baby at the breast saves energy wasted on sterilizing bottles and refrigeration of milk.
Unlike breastmilk, cow’s milk-based artificial infant and toddler milk have a negative impact on the environment, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to global warming through their manufacturing and processing. Methane and CO2 produced from cows contribute to the greenhouse effect and their sewage contributes to the pollution of lakes and rivers. Breastmilk is produced efficiently by the mother and is a carbon-neutral food.
Many infant formulas contain soy which uses pesticides to grow and its farming is a contributor to the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.
According to a 2019 study by The Imperial College, London, “Overall, breastfeeding for six months saves an estimated 95-153kg CO2 equivalent per baby compared with formula feeding.”