Can I really
buy all this in
try to make
the milk or
longer by using
makes a baby
get sick more
Companies that make artificial milk (infant
formula) want mothers to feed their babies
formula instead of breast milk so that the
companies can make money. Using bottles or
giving formula is often very unsafe. Millions
of babies fed with bottles or formula have
become malnourished or sick, or have died.
• Formula and other milks, such as
tinned milk or the milk of animals,
do not protect babies from disease.
• Formula and other milks can cause
sickness and death. If the bottle,
nipple, or water used to make the
are more likely to get
sick and die.
formula is not boiled long enough, the
baby will swallow harmful germs and get diarrhea.
• When babies drink from the breast, they use their tongue
to suckle, or ‘milk’ the breast. It is very different from what
a baby’s mouth does when sucking on a bottle. By sucking
on a bottle the baby may forget how to suckle well on
the breast. And if the baby does not suckle on the breast
enough, the mother’s milk supply will decrease, and the baby
will stop feeding from the breast completely.
• Bottle-feeding costs a lot of money. For one baby,
a family would need 40 kg of formula powder in the first
year. Buying a day’s worth of
formula and enough fuel to
boil water can cost more
than the family earns in a
week—or even a month.
HIV and breastfeeding
A woman with HIV must make a decision about the
safest way to feed her baby. She will need to compare
other health risks with the risk of HIV infection. For help
with this decision, see page 293.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012