The surprising link between breastfeeding and your infant's facial growth

By Eve Bandusena | Parents Avenue’s Editorial Assistant | Images Courtesy of Freepik
 

Parents, we all know the many nutritional benefits of breastmilk, or aptly called “Liquid Gold.” Some countless articles and studies indicate that breast is the best. According to the World Health Organization, breastfeeding protects infants against childhood illnesses, contains antibodies that are passed on to infants; adolescents and adults who were breastfed as infants have fewer risks in developing obesity, diabetes and perform better in intelligence tests. But! Did you know that it helps in positively shaping your infant’s facial growth too?

Dr. Sylvia of Phi Dental sits down with us and opens up about the surprising link between breastfeeding and the physiological development of your infant’s facial features. So, grab a cup of coffee and have a seat with us as we dive right into this conversation.

Breastfeeding versus bottle-feeding 

 

First of all, we have to understand that the mechanism behind breastfeeding and bottle-feeding is different. Breastfeeding is a suckling movement; this is when you use the jaw to press on the nipple and breast to get the feeding from the mother’s breast.”

“Whereas, bottle-feeding is a passive feeding motion where the baby takes less effort to get them feeding. When you look at babies breastfeeding and see their jaw movement, the tongue protrudes up and will have that massage and sucking motion to take the breastmilk from the mother,” she says.

“In terms of facial characteristics, breastfeeding babies will have more forward growth of the facial profile while bottle-fed babies will have a higher palate and longer face. The growth, in term, will more vertically be compared to frontal and they’ll have a narrow airway.”

Image Source: Pinterest

The history behind the bottle-feeding culture

 

In the 1970s, the introduction of formula feeding was widely spread in the market and it started the bottle-feeding culture. During the bottle feeding era, circulating commercials and advertisements played a role in portraying a mother who bottle-fed her baby signified her higher status as opposed to mothers who traditionally breastfed their babies.

“Beauty in the olden days was associated with having prominent facial features and high jawbones due to the prominence of breastfeeding mothers. You can see this in celebrity faces like Marilyn Monroe, John Kennedy, and Audrey Hepburn,” she adds, “ Now, celebrities have longer faces and flatter cheeks like Angelina Jolie, Jenifer Lawrence, and Natalie Portman. So, I think that’s how formula feeding changed an era.”

Advice to reach positive facial growth via breastfeeding

 

In the 1970s, the introduction of formula feeding was widely spread in the market and it started the bottle-feeding culture. During the bottle feeding era, circulating commercials and advertisements played a role in portraying a mother who bottle-fed her baby signified her higher status as opposed to mothers who traditionally breastfed their babies.

“Beauty in the olden days was associated with having prominent facial features and high jawbones due to the prominence of breastfeeding mothers. You can see this in celebrity faces like Marilyn Monroe, John Kennedy, and Audrey Hepburn,” she adds, “ Now, celebrities have longer faces and flatter cheeks like Angelina Jolie, Jenifer Lawrence, and Natalie Portman. So, I think that’s how formula feeding changed an era.”

For moms who can’t breastfeed, the next best thing is paced bottle-feeding

 

In the 1970s, the introduction of formula feeding was widely spread in the market and it started the bottle-feeding culture. During the bottle feeding era, circulating commercials and advertisements played a role in portraying a mother who bottle-fed her baby signified her higher status as opposed to mothers who traditionally breastfed their babies.

“Beauty in the olden days was associated with having prominent facial features and high jawbones due to the prominence of breastfeeding mothers. You can see this in celebrity faces like Marilyn Monroe, John Kennedy, and Audrey Hepburn,” she adds, “ Now, celebrities have longer faces and flatter cheeks like Angelina Jolie, Jenifer Lawrence, and Natalie Portman. So, I think that’s how formula feeding changed an era.”

Last Message for Parents Avenue Readers
 

“I’m a pro-breastfeeding dentist,” Dr. Sylvia reveals.

“I’m aware that breastfeeding has multiple benefits such as building antibodies and immune systems, bonding but it’s also closely related to how our facial growth and airways develop. Through the practice of breastfeeding, babies can breathe better and have a better palate, facial development form and this comes from the decision that first parents make.”

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases. At Parents Avenue, we strongly recommend all our readers to seek medical advise from your local hospital or clinic. Thank you.
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