September 18, 2007
Before Strolyn Ashby gave birth to her baby James, she went back and forth between the decision to breast feed or bottle feed.
That was, until the staff at UVA's Newborn Nursery educated her on the the benefits on natural feeding.
"I was going to give up at first, but then I just kept on going because they said that's whats best for the baby," said Ashby.
Doctors say in the past few decades there has been a misconception that both breast milk and bottle milk are the same.
Studies show that there are more risks associated with not breast feeding; like more infections and hospital visits, lower IQ scores, and higher risk of diabetes and obesity later in life.
Health Experts say a mother's milk is full of important antibodies, that only she can give to her newborn.
"We all have bacteria that live in our gut, their (breastfed babies) gut flora is different than a baby who is receiving only formula, so its lined with antibodies, so we think it has something to do with these infections," said Dr. Ann Kellams, director of the UVA Newborn Nursery.