A friend of mine and I were hanging out with our two daughters the other day.  She formula feeds and I bottle feed breastmilk.  We got into the heated debate Breastfeeding vs. Formula feeding.  As we debated pros and cons, good and bad she said (knowing my love for the microscope) "Surely you have examined each under the microscope."  I thought for a minute and I laughed "No, I haven't - I've never had a need for formula."  (Of course I had gotten plenty in the mail and hospital, but had long given it away.)  So we got the microscope out and what we found was amazing.  After a look at the the rival baby foods, we decided to compare the two with cow's milk - another highly debated beverage among new mommies.  Again it was all very interesting.  What follows are several pictures, all at 400x magnification, zoomed in with my camera.  Some are blurry, some are clear - but all tell the rest of the story. ***FYI - My friend has decided to relactate.***

This is Formula.  The pointer is pointing to an air bubble.  It looks bleak and almost like a cultured sample in a real laboratory.


 Now this photo is a little blurry, but you can see the beautiful, lively cells that make up real live human breastmilk (it was "fresh squeezed, not refrigerated and not from concentrate LOL).  There are no inconsistency's and much seems to be happening!


Finally Cow's milk.  Notice that it looks similar to breastmilk - why wouldn't it, they are both milk, but the breastmilk, again, looks so much more alive.  Imagine what more we could see when magnified even further?

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Feb. 10, 2008 at 10:50 PM

Well, to add to it... cow's milk was given to me as a baby and I'm highly allergic to it.  Major rashes, stomach cramping, etc.  Just a note... :-)   Thanks for the neat pictures... VERY interesting. :-)

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Feb. 10, 2008 at 10:51 PM I don't know of anyone who's ever argued against "breast is best". But this certainly puts it into perspective.

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Feb. 11, 2008 at 5:20 PM oooooooh, i like that. i used to put everything under my mircoscope too

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Apr. 12, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Milk is mostly just water and spheres of fatty acids.

There are little to no cells in milk.

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Aug. 27, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Ummm last I checked everythng was made up of cells?

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Aug. 28, 2011 at 12:44 PM No... actually only living substances are composed of cells. That's what makes breastmilk so awesome. It is a living substance and formula is not. When you feed your baby breastmilk, you are
feeding him/her live cells which are antibodies. It's similar to getting an immunization. The antibodies protect your baby from getting infections. Formula does not contain any such protection and it is missing a lot of other wonderful properties that breastmilk has as well.

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Aug. 28, 2011 at 11:33 PM

Lovely.  As if those of us who have no other choice but to formula feed our babies don't feel badly enough already.

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Aug. 29, 2011 at 12:33 AM

You know, as badly as I feel for mothers who cannot breastfeed (I WAS one, with my first 3 children) bringing up the benefits of breastfeeding should not be construed as a personal attack. While a very small minority of mother's "have no choice but to formula feed", that situation is really not as common as people are led to believe (mostly by formula companies). Yes, mothers have the right to choose how to feed their babies. But let's make sure it TRULY is INFORMED choice. To tell women it's not that big of a deal, formula is a close second to breastfeeding, etc, to spare the feelings of moms who formula feed is a huge cop-out and does a huge disservice to babies. Formula feeding is risky! There, I said it. If you have to, it's available. And don't feel guilty because you did your best. But the FACTS, as hard as they may be, need to be available to mothers who haven't chosen how they will feed their infant yet.

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Aug. 29, 2011 at 2:54 PM

I agree that research shows that breastmilk is best for baby. However I currently do not know one person who was formula fed as a baby that is any less healthy than those that were breastfed. Many of my friends formula feed and many breastfeed, and all of our babies and children are extremely healthy. Every mother has a different set of circumstances and we all do what we feel is best for our baby.

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