The Many Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom and Baby

The Many Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom and Baby

From the very start, the first humans breastfed their babies largely because formula wasn’t an option. Once considered the only way to feed a baby, modern times have given moms a choice of using their breasts for what they were designed to do or using manufactured nutrition in the form of formula. Oddly, it’s the first choice that many people in the western part of the world make out to be taboo. But something this important and necessary should never be shunned.

The benefits for both mom and baby are numerous. For one, the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding for at least the first year of a baby’s life, citing it as the most nutritious way to give your baby the best start in life. Additionally, here are 22 more benefits of breastfeeding:

1. Better immunity

Breastfeeding helps build your baby’s immunity. Additionally, the vaccines you have been given pass through your milk to protect your child until he can receive the vaccinations himself.

2. Weight loss for mom

Because it burns an excess of 500 calories, breastfeeding is a great way to get a head start on losing that baby weight.

3. Perfect nutrition

Breast milk contains the perfect mix of vitamins, proteins and fats that your baby needs.

4. Prevents SIDS

According to the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), breastfeeding prevents SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

5. Higher IQ

In an 18-year study conducted by scientists in New Zealand, it was discovered that formula-fed babies had lower intelligence and academic achievement than breastfed babies.

6. Reduces your risk of certain cancers

You’ll be much less likely to develop breast or ovarian cancer when you breastfeed your baby.

7. Cheaper eats

Breastfeeding will save you much more money than if you were using formula. Data from La Leche League points out that formula can cost a family anywhere from $134 to $491 per month. In one year, that could be as much as $6,000!

8. Faster post-delivery healing

Thanks to the hormone oxytocin that is released every time your baby suckles on your breast, your uterus shrinks back down to size much more quickly.

9. Adapts to your baby’s needs

Formula is the same every time you make it. But breast milk changes to suit your baby’s changing needs.

10. More portable

Moms that feed formula to their babies are always busy preparing formula or sterilizing bottles and packing them up for outings. When you breastfeed, you don’t need to worry about bringing anything. And you won’t be able to forget your breasts at home. You can breastfeed your baby anywhere without having to waste time heating up bottles.

11. It benefits everyone

A study published in a journal called Pediatrics revealed that America would save on medical costs to the tune of around $13 billion a year if 90% of the families here would exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months.

12. Creates a beautiful bond

The skin-to-skin contact between a mother and her newborn child creates a strong and beautiful bond that lasts. Plus, the oxytocin that your body releases brings out your maternal instincts.

13. Positive emotional benefits

You can never spoil a baby by holding her too much. Additionally, you can’t spoil a baby by breastfeeding her either. There is no more comforting a feeling for babies than to be held close and cuddled while breastfeeding. This results in a child that grows up to feel strong and secure.

14. Less sick days for you

Breastfed babies don’t get sick as often as formula fed babies do. Because of this, you’ll miss much less work staying home to care for a sick baby.

15. The temperature is just right

Unless you pump your milk and store it in the refrigerator or freezer, your breast milk will always be ready to serve at just the right temperature. No need to heat it up. 

16. It’s a natural tranquilizer

Your breast milk contains chemicals that seem to work like sleeping pills for tired babies. Babies that don’t doze off after nursing will be much more calm and soothed. And breastfeeding moms are also prone to giving in to the relaxing feelings that breastfeeding produces. It’s every nursing mom’s biggest fear to drop the baby when they drift off to sleep. Breastfeeding in bed makes that much easier. Besides, nothing is cozier than sleeping next to your own baby.

17. Richer flavor

Formula has only one taste. But your breast milk is filled with all kinds of interesting flavors for your baby to sample. Your vast and varied diet gives your baby a taste of everything you’re eating. And guess what that means? You’re less likely to have a picky eater on your hands as your child grows up.

18. Healing properties for sick babies

Because breast milk is easily digested and soothing to the intestines, should your baby get sick, there will be no need for artificial and expensive electrolyte-filled remedies. When formula-fed babies develop a respiratory illness, the formula causes the formation of even more mucus. The antibodies contained in breast milk will help get your baby back into good health much more quickly, and without causing more mucus to develop.

19. No recalls

Breast milk has never once received a recall. Formula has though. Now that’s some food for thought!

21. You’re guarded against anemia

Most breastfeeding moms don’t get their periods again for at least a year. This helps protect you from getting anemia, an iron deficiency, because your stored up iron reserves aren’t being drained from monthly bleeding.

22. There’s no competition

Every brand of formula is different from each other, but none of them can even come close to the pure and nutritious milk your breasts produce for your baby. With breast milk, you never have to worry that your baby is getting only the very best, most pure and nutritious ingredients, and that right there is the most priceless reward of breastfeeding.

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