Mothers sometimes prefer the easy way out by giving their baby expressed breast milk in a bottle, so that they can get some free time and plan their activities. This is of course; always better than using formula milk. However, some mothers find this extremely convenient and hence continue doing so instead of directly breastfeeding. We need to understand that the act of breastfeeding is not just about providing milk to the baby, but the actual MECHANISM involved is also very important.
Breastfeeding requires the baby’s oral and facial muscles to develop adequate vacuum on the mother’s nipple and aureola, so as to bring about milk transfer. During this act the lower jaw moves back and forth which stimulates its forward growth as well. As the jaw and the face grow forward, the airway too gets pulled ahead .Orthodontic problems like crooked teeth are most usually a sign of underdevelopment of jaw and face. In addition other orthodontic problems, like narrow palate or retruded lower jaw are known risk factors for obstructed breathing. All these issues can simply be prevented by THE ACT OF BREASTFEEDING. Hence breastfed children are less likely to develop overbites or cross bites, and thus have less orthodontic problems.
The group of muscles involved in sucking on a bottle nipple are different from those involved in sucking on the breast. Overall, breastfeeding is a good orofacial muscle workout, which keeps their muscle strength well developed even at two to three years of age; although they have stopped breastfeeding by then. Thus breastfed babies have stronger chewing muscles than their bottle fed counterparts.
Thus THE ACT OF BREASTFEEDING has many hidden advantages.