Breastfeeding is one of the most natural way for a mother to feed her new born baby. Womens bodies were designed to feed their babies. Cows "breastfeed" their babies only with their uters, goats do the same thing as well as dogs, and cats, all mammals feed their babies with the milk that their body produces, because it is natural. Breastfeeding is not just good for the baby but the mother, and feeding your baby is one of the most beautiful things in the world.
Yes, there are many mothers who, for one reason or another, can't breastfeed or find formula a better option for their circumstances. Indeed, this is why we have formula.
However, breastmilk was designed to feed babies. It is fatty, nutritional, and suckling helps develop babies' jaws. For the first few months it provides antibodies. Formula is getting better and better, but still is not at breastmilk level.
Studies have found that breast feeding is better for the health and development of babies and gives them nutrients and antibodies that they can't get from formula in a bottle. Breast feeding or giving their children natural milk is a better choice for mothers if they have the time and ability to do it.
Research shows that children who are breastfeed are normally healthier all around. If breast feeding isn't an option, bottle-fed children are not significantly unhealthier, but children who are fed with formula are. Formula is not a very good source of nutrients, and even pumping breast milk is better. Breastfeeding also creates a close and personal relationship with the child.
I think it is false to say that in every case breastfeeding is better for the mom and baby. Formula was invented in the 70's to help infant mortality- meaning many babies were dying because they weren't being nourished enough by breast milk alone. Breastfeeding is a very hard skill to learn and although some babies latch quickly, other moms have a hard time feeding their children. This coupled with the physical pain of breastfeeding can actual strain a mother/child bond and create resentment and post partum depression in the mom. The positive effects of breast milk have been dramatically over exaggerated and because of the inability of research studies to control who breast feeds and who bottle feeds, the facts that have come out are not accurate. Breast milk seems to be slightly healthier, but wether it is "better" all around is hard to determine. It is definitely not more enough healthy to make much of a difference in a child's life and it is certainly not better in every situation.