This famous and tragic picture we discussed in one of my classes. This photograph was taken in Pakistan, with the mother's permission. I can't find out what year it is from, but it has since been used by UNICEF to illustrate the dangers of bottle feeding versus breastfeeding. The infants are actually twins. The mother was mistakenly told she could only breastfeed one. The child on the right did not survive long after the photo was taken.
Formula feeding can be dangerous in countries where access to clean water is limited. Formula can expose infants to contaminants present in unclean water. Another problem is that, while breast milk is free, formula is expensive and mothers are sometimes tempted to dilute it to make it last longer. This can lead to starvation.
Breast milk is full of the very nutrients infants need the most. It's one thing if a woman cannot produce milk, but formula will never be better than breast milk. Mothers should research before deciding to formula feed. Formula should not be promoted in countries where it can actually put infants' health at risk. Diarrhea is the number one killer of infants worldwide and formula can be directly linked to many of these deaths.
New data is now showing that it isn't just that breastfeeding is better, but that not breastfeeding can actually put infants at risk. In the US we need to change laws to make it easier for working women to still give their infants the very best.