Here's Why Formula Is Just As Good As Breast Milk

by Keiko Zoll

Like pretty much every single aspect of parenting, everyone has an opinion. None may be more strong than what to feed a baby. With a resurgence in the popularity of breastfeeding in America, it can be hard to be a mom who uses formula to feed her baby when there seems to be so much pressure to breastfeed. As much as breastfeeding has become normalized, moms who formula feed need support, too — and this video perfectly demonstrates why formula is just as good as breast milk.

Adam Ruins Everything is truTV's edgier version of Mythbusters, featuring writer Adam Conover's comedic takedowns of common misconceptions and beliefs. On Tuesday's season premiere, Conover tackled the breast milk versus formula debate with hilarious precision. Actress Mo Gaffney walked viewers through the history of baby formula, calling it a "literal lifesaver," while also cutting through its criticisms with some razor sharp wit. In the segment, a mom whips out a bottle to feed her baby as two other women immediately jump down her throat. One woman takes the "breast is best" route while the other calls breastfeeding gross.

Gaffney is having none of it. To the second women she says, "You're going to tell a mom where and when she can feed her baby?" while to the first woman she claps back, "How dare you judge how a mom feeds her kid?" It only gets better from there.

Dr. Courtney Jung, a lactation expert and professor at the University of Toronto pops out of a can of formula in the video to explain what science has to say. "Formula is a safe and nutritionally complete alternative to breast milk," states Jung. She continues:

For things like I.Q., asthma, allergies, eczema — once you account for income and education, there's almost no difference between breastfeeding and formula feeding. The evidence that breastfeeding makes a difference is just inconclusive.

The video also highlights the ways in which formula empowered women since it was first invented by a German scientist in 1865. Prior to formula, breastfeeding was basically a full-time job for nursing mothers — and, if you do the math, the salary for breastfeeding doesn't pay that great. But with the invention of formula, it enabled women to get actual jobs outside the home.

According to a study from the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, 15 percent of women can't breastfeed. Prior to the introduction of formula, moms who couldn't breastfeed their babies had to struggle with infant malnourishment and death. Baby formula has saved lives and still does today.

The video also savagely "ruins" the argument that breastfeeding is the only way to bond with your child. While oxytocin — the love hormone — is released during breastfeeding, Conover reminds viewers it's also released when a person fires a gun or watches porn.

I will never forget the first time I had to give my son formula, after coming home from the pediatrician at his 4-month checkup and he hadn't gained as much weight as he should have. My milk supply was already showing signs that it was dwindling. I sobbed as I mixed the powdered formula with water, shaking the bottle and feeling like an utter failure as a new mom. I tried every trick in the book to boost my milk supply, but by 10 months, it was gone. As much as I struggled at first with the idea of formula feeding, I'm so grateful it was even option — otherwise I don't know how I would have fed my now 4-year-old rad little dude.

It's awesome that Adam Ruins Everything took the breastfeeding versus formula feeding debate head on in such a succinct and hilarious way — and here's hoping moms can just knock it off with all the judgment, both of each other and of themselves, too.