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Breastfeeding By Design
part 1
by Heidi Bingham
All rights reserved. This information is protected under copyright laws.
©1998 Heidi A. Bingham

For permission to reprint this article, please contact Heidi A. Bingham,

So, it’s time to decide what and how to feed your baby.  You've heard “breast milk is best” countless times, but you've also heard that children do just fine on formula.  Are both methods of feeding baby acceptable, or is there truly a right choice?  If you're a Christian, please consider the following:

Breastmilk is more nutritious

  • The protein content and type in mothers milk is exactly right for baby.  Formula is processed to closely resemble mother's milk, but cannot duplicate it completely.

  • The vitamins and minerals in mother's milk occur in the proper proportions for baby's health and in the proper formulation for easy absorption into the baby's system.  Again, formula cannot duplicate mothers milk, and the synthesized nutrients placed into a processed milk may not be readily absorbed into the baby's system. Mother's milk changes as the child grows providing custom nutrition for each stage of growth. Formula is static, unchanging.  A one week old baby does not have the same nutritional needs as a four month old.  Breastmilk, unlike formula, is able to provide for these changing needs.

Breastfeeding is God's design

  • When Cain was born, God filled Eve's breasts with milk for him.  He did not drop a case of formula in her pantry.  Bottles and formula are man's design.

  • Breastmilk in bottles offers the baby optimal nutrition, but still circumvents God's design for the breastfeeding relationship.

  • Breastfeeding provides comfort to the child, as well as nourishment.  Snuggling a baby while giving a bottle will provide comfort, but God specifically mentions comfort at the breast.  I suspect this a deeper level of comfort than given along with a bottle.  Bottle advocates often deny that breastfeeding is meant for comfort as well as food.  If you've heard this, consider Isaiah 66:11:
    That you may feed and be satisfied
    With the consolation of her bosom

Often overlooked elements of the design

  • One person only, the mother, feeds the baby.

  • The baby needs to nurse frequently, every 2-4 hours once breastfeeding is well established.  A newborn often needs to nurse more frequently, and sometimes an older baby does as well.

Thoughts to consider

  • Matthew 7:9-11
    Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?
    God wants to give us what is good, and as Christian parents, we should want the same for our children.  He NEVER offers us second best (though we sometimes end up with it through poor choices that we make).  God designed into your baby a desire and a need for the breast.  Do not deny your child what is good and offer a poor substitute in it's place.

  • Isaiah 45:9
    Woe to him who strives with his Maker!
    Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth.
    Shall the clay say to him who forms it, “What are you making?”
    Or shall your handiwork say, “He has no hands”?
  • and Romans 9:20
    But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God?  Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”
    Choosing bottles and formula, bottles with breastmilk, or occasional bottles is outside of God's design.  It is not the way He created woman.  In doing so you are essentially striving with God.  His hands created you, and His hands are perfect.  Whether you are bottle feeding full time or using an occasional bottle so you can get out by yourself, you are questioning that He knew best when He created  the breastfeeding relationship. Mother, you were designed to breastfeed your baby full time.  Do not question “why?” just walk in it.

Support Breastfeeding Mothers

As Christians, we have no choice but to walk according to God's plan.  Breastfeeding, full time,  is clearly God's plan.  Willfully choosing to use bottles is sin and should not even be considered in a Christian family.  If it's on your mind, ask yourself why you wish to bottlefeed.

  • Are you going back to work to provide a second income?  Does your family really need the extra money that badly or would you be better off making some sacrifices and lowering your standard of living to follow God's will?  Run the numbers.  You may even find that by the time you pay for daycare, convenience foods (including restaurants, fast food, and easy to prepare mixes from the grocery store), work clothes, and other work related expenses you aren't bringing in as much extra as you think.  You may even be paying to go to work!

  • Are you going back to work to pursue your career or for personal fulfillment?   Surely, following God's plan, though it may be a difficult adjustment, brings more fulfillment and satisfaction than any job.

  • Are you using supplemental bottles so you can take a night out or a vacation away from the baby, or so dad (grandma, siblings, or others) can take part in feeding the baby?  These are outside of God's design, as well, though it isn't as clear at first glance.  I can only figure that God knew what He was doing.   I suspect there's more to the continuity of mommy only and mommy frequently than we can comprehend with our limited vision.  Neither you nor I know how breaking that continuity affects the baby on deeper, possibly even spiritual, levels.

  • Are you considering bottles because breastfeeding is somehow gross to you? Remember, God's creation is beautiful.  He declared it “good.” Take your attitude to God and ask Him to show you the beauty in the breastfeeding relationship.

Please understand that I'm not talking about extreme cases where bottles are a necessity. There are cases where, for medical reasons, breastfeeding is impossible.  And occasionally, a healthy mother and baby pair is truly unable to breastfeed. In these instances, formula is not just a necessity, but a blessing. God certainly would not expect you to starve your baby. It is not my intention to judge in these matters. It is between you, your doctor and lactation consultant, and the Lord.

There are other cases where this design may be interrupted. Sometimes a single mother must work outside the home. She will need to use bottles to feed her baby while she is away. She can continue to give him the nutritional and immunological benefits of breastmilk by pumping her breasts and leaving this breastmilk for the caregiver to feed her little one, then nursing him at the breast when she is home. An adoptive mom will need formula, but hopefully with prayer and dedication, as well as support from an organization like La Leche League International, she can breastfeed at least part time.

Proud Member, Militant Breatfeeding Cult In Breastfeeding By Design, Part 2, I'll go into more detail on the how-to's of breastfeeding. I'll also discuss some ways to bottlefeed as close to the original design as possible.  In Breastfeeding the Hospitalized Baby, Cyndi Egbert discusses ways to be sure a hospitalized baby can continue to receive the benefits of breastmilk and the breastfeeding relationship. For a brief discussion on the importance of breastfeeding in the face of the Year 2000 computer bug, please read Breastfeeding and Y2K. I also recommend my Review and Commentary of Preparation for Parenting, an infant management program written by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo and published by Growing Families International. This program has stirred a lot of controversy in Chrisitan circles as well as secular, for the feeding routine it advocates.   So, click on a link and let's go.

Looking for some children's books that are breastfeeding friendly?  Try my Amazon.com affiliate bookstore.

Back Home Next

Links to Breastfeeding Information and Resources.
Breastfeeding the Hospitalized Baby by Cyndi Egbert
Breastfeeding and Y2K
A Review and Commentary of Preparation for Parenting

Heidi's Note: The sites on this ring may or may not be Christian.
I do not necessarily agree with all content on all sites. Please use discernment and compare all things against the Truth of Scriptures.


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