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Parents put breastmilk and formula under a microscope – with surprising results

A mum and dad have sparked furious debate after putting breastmilk and formula under a microscope in a scientific experiment to compare the two – with hundreds divided over whether ‘breast or fed’ is best.

Australian mum Jansen Howard shared a video on Facebook of two single drops of breastmilk and formula under the microscope.

In the clip, it is clear to see how the breastmilk is filled with vitamins, proteins, prebiotics and anti-infective cells – none of which can be seen by the naked eye. 

On the other hand, the formula looks almost the same as it does when you look at it from afar, demonstrating the noticeable difference between the two for a baby.

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A mum and dad have sparked furious debate after putting breastmilk and formula under a microscope in a scientific experiment to compare the two (pictured)

The post read: ‘We all know the benefits of breastfeeding.

‘Even knowing them, this video absolutely blew my mind; breast milk under a microscope compared to formula under a microscope.

In the clip, it is clear to see how breastmilk is filled with vitamins, proteins, prebiotics and anti-infective cells - none of which can be seen by the naked eye (pictured)

In the clip, it is clear to see how breastmilk is filled with vitamins, proteins, prebiotics and anti-infective cells – none of which can be seen by the naked eye (pictured)

‘This came about from a mama named Jansen Howard, who wanted to see for herself what the difference between formula and breastmilk was when her bub was unwell.

‘Her papa was a microscopist, and with his help, they put a single drop of breastmilk under the microscope and discovered that her breastmilk came to life.’

The post explained that the ‘bubble-shaped cells’ that are moving around in the recording are fat and water cells and white blood cells.

There are also plenty of vitamins, anti-infective cells, minerals, proteins, hormones, cytokines, growth factors, prebiotics and carbohydrates which can’t be seen by ‘the naked eye’.

‘To have something to compare to, Jansen put formula under the microscope too, and as you can see, there’s a noticeable difference,’ the post continued.

It clarified that while the video isn’t intending to shame formula-feeding mums and make them feel bad, but rather it has been shared in order to inspire breastfeeding mums to continue if they can – even if they’re struggling.

‘Plus, seeing breastmilk this way gives me a whole new level of understanding of it as a whole food for bubs,’ the post concluded. 

The post sparked a furious debate over whether breastfeeding or having a baby that is 'fed' is best (stock image)

The post sparked a furious debate over whether breastfeeding or having a baby that is ‘fed’ is best (stock image)

'Breastmilk is incredible! So blessed that my three babies have been able to benefit from this liquid gold,' one woman wrote (stock image)

‘Breastmilk is incredible! So blessed that my three babies have been able to benefit from this liquid gold,’ one woman wrote (stock image) 

It wasn’t long before the post went viral, with close to 300 comments debating the nature of breast versus bottle.

‘Breastmilk is incredible! So blessed that my three babies have been able to benefit from this liquid gold,’ one woman wrote.

‘How interesting and amazing is this,’ another added.

But while many wanted to praise the benefits of breastfeeding, others said formula-feeding mothers shouldn’t be made to feel bad, even inadvertently.

‘This is formula shaming, don’t try and disguise it as “education”,’ one woman wrote.

Another added: ‘This is heartbreaking, I tried to breastfeed my baby but she was ten weeks premature so it was so much stress. 

‘I was trying to heal from a C section and in the end my milk supply didn’t come so I had to choose formula, now I feel I didn’t give it my baby the right start’.

Jessica revealed that the dish on the left, pictured - soaked in breast milk - showed 'clear circles... where the breast milk has fought off the bacteria'

Jessica revealed that the dish on the left, pictured – soaked in breast milk – showed ‘clear circles… where the breast milk has fought off the bacteria’

Jessica revealed the dish on the right, pictured: 'The formula on the other hand has had no effect and the bacteria has completely over run the plate, even moving the disks'

Jessica revealed the dish on the right, pictured: ‘The formula on the other hand has had no effect and the bacteria has completely over run the plate, even moving the disks’

This isn’t the first time that breast versus bottle has caused debate.

In 2018, a mother’s science experiment comparing the bacteria-fighting properties of breast milk against formula went viral. 

Biology student, Jessica Wilson, from the UK, shared a photo on Facebook of two petri dishes side-by-side, showing how each liquid had performed in the task, with formula ‘having no effect’. 

In her post, Jessica, who has a 17-month-old son, revealed that she had soaked four small assay discs in her own expressed breast milk, and another four in an unnamed brand of formula. 

She had then placed them into separate petri dishes, each containing the same strain of bacteria, micrococcus luteus, and recorded the results after 24 hours.

Jessica revealed that the dish on the left – soaked in breast milk – showed ‘clear circles… where the breast milk has fought off the bacteria’. 

Whereas the dish on the right, soaked in formula milk, ‘has had no effect’.


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