Human breast-milk and formula feeds both contain essential nutrients in similar proportions. But breast-milk supplies these nutrients in a blend which is perfect for a human child.
Breast-milk contains important antibodies and white blood cells which protect an infant from infection, particularly while its own immune system is immature.
Doctors, midwives and health visitors advise against bottle-feeding except when the mother finds herself unable to breast-feed, or if she does not produce enough milk.
However, the medical profession reassures mothers that they should not regard themselves as failures if they do not breast-feed.