Breastfeeding Benefits: to Breastfeed or Not to Breastfeed?
Breastfeeding benefits are plentiful. There is one for every mom and baby.
In fact, we know a lot about benefits of the breast milk to the baby. But do you know how much a woman benefits from nursing a baby?
Breastfeeding may involve certain challenges and call for sacrifices. You may even here that there are certain benefits of feeding a baby formula. However, breastfeeding is still number one source and method of nourishing a baby, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
What if your milk is there, but so are the doubts whether to do it or not? Try to analyze where these doubts come from.
Yes, there are some certain medical conditions that may interfere with breastfeeding.
Yes, some pain, problems and challenges are possible.
But with a little bit of help and support, these are manageable. Breastfeeding will only last for a year or two. And initial difficulties will later grow into a rewarding quality time that only you and your baby share.
Is it worth trying? I think it totally is. I can list at least 16 reasons why…
16 Breastfeeding Benefits You Won’t Resist
Bonding. Breast milk for the baby is the source of nutrients, safety, security and love. Bottle only takes care of part of the nutrients. During the very first newborn feedings the baby realizes: “This is my mom.” It is truly priceless.
Bonding. It is of the highest value and meaning for a new mom too. Nursing maximizes the time you spend holding, caressing, kissing and touching your baby. This unmatched skin to skin contact and the feeling of accomplishment give you the deepest acceptance of your new social role of a MOTHER. Here is a great resource to find out more about the Importance of Touch in baby's life (this link will open a new window). You'll be amazed by how much touching and staying physically close to your baby really mean!
Colostrum. Perfect first baby food. High-calorie, rich in proteins and minerals.
Colostrum. Contains antibodies. Boosts immunity. This is especially important during the first couple of months after birth, as your baby adjusts to the outside world.
Colostrum. Stimulates work of digestive system, which stimulates expulsion of meconium (baby’s first stool). Meconium gets bilirubin out of the body. It prevents jaundice.
Human milk adapts to changes in baby’s nutrition needs. It is the perfect-fit food at every stage. Therefore, breastfed children are less prone to obesity.
Amount of breast milk is dictated by baby’s needs. Demand breeds supply.
Mother’s milk contains fatty acids. It promotes normal development of baby’s nervous system.
It prevents allergies. Most of baby-age allergies are outgrown by the age of one. Nursing for at least a year lowers your baby's risk of developing food allergies altogether.
It is free. It is always where you and your baby are. It is always the right temperature. And there is no waste from it.
Breastfed babies are less prone to constipation and diarrhea.
Nursing prevents juvenile diabetes.
It lowers mom’s risk of breast cancer.
It stimulates uterus contraction and speeds up the process of returning uterus to its pre-pregnancy size.
It helps prevent postpartum hemorrhoids.
Breastfeeding mothers burns about 500 more calories a day than a non-breastfeeding mother. Talk about losing baby-weight!
It is amazing how many benefits of breast milk there are, isn’t it? My
personal favorite are bonding and the nutrients that my son was getting. But it was mostly the bonding that kept me going through all the hard times.
I hope you give it a try. My intention here is not to overwhelm you. I know you have plenty of other things to worry about. But if you are in doubt, I hope this list will help you decide.
Nursing is natural, so be natural about it. And then it will "flow". Have
fun with it and cherish this gift that only the two of you share!