The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breast milk protect babies from illness. This protection is unique and formula cannot match the chemical makeup of human breast milk. Among formula-fed babies, ear infections and diarrhea are more common.
Research shows that breastfeeding can also reduce the risk of Type 1 diabetes, childhood leukemia, and atopic dermatitis in babies. Breastfeeding has also been shown to lower the risk of SIDS.