Choosing to breastfeed is a personal choice. When making the choice to breastfeed or not be sure to look at the breastfeeding benefits for you and your baby.
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Choosing whether or not to breastfeed is a very personal choice. There are many who are willing to give you their opinions on the matter. I chose to nurse my boys and though the journey wasn’t perfect, I loved the experiences. If you are trying to decide whether breastfeeding your baby is right for you, consider these breastfeeding benefits and why it is great for you and baby.
Optimal Balance of Nutrients
Breast milk has the optimal balance of nutrients. It has a near perfect mix of vitamins, proteins, and fats that your baby needs. Breast milk also includes antibodies that will help your baby to fight off viruses and bacteria easier. For babies who are breastfed, even for only the first six months, there tend to be fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses and incidences of diarrhea. They also tend to cry less and are calmer.
Breastfeeding promotes healthy weight for your baby. Breastfed babies tend to self-regulate when eating. They are better at stopping when they are full, which promotes healthy eating patterns. Obesity rates are 15% to 30% lower in babies who nurse compared to formula-fed babies.
Saves Time and Money
Breastfeeding saves you time and money. There aren’t bottles to buy. You don’t have to spend money on expensive formula. It saves you the time it takes to prep the bottles, sterilizing nipples, measuring the formula, and warming the bottle.
Breastfeeding also makes travel easier. Breast milk is ready to go at all times. There is no need to prepare bottles and heat up the formula. You won’t have to find a place to prepare the bottle. You are able to nurse anywhere and at anytime.
Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom
There are breastfeeding benefits for mom as well. Oxytocin increases during breastfeeding which encourages contractions and reduces bleeding. Oxytocin helps the uterus return to its normal size after birth. Therefore, when nursing, the increase in oxytocin helps the uterus return to its normal size faster.
Another benefit to oxytocin is that it is a soothing hormone. Together, with the hormone prolactin, also produced during breastfeeding, they promote stress reduction and positive feelings in mothers who nurse. This helps mothers relax and enjoy the time while nursing.
Physical and Emotional Bonding is Increased
When breastfeeding, there is more skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby. There is more holding of your baby while you are nursing. This helps create a physical and emotional bond between mother and child. The distance between a mother and baby’s face during breastfeeding is almost perfect for the baby’s limited vision. As you nurse you can interact with and talk to your baby while nursing. This also helps increase the connection you have.
We know that sometimes moms are unable to breastfeed their babies for various reasons. Formula is still a good option in these circumstances. If you are trying to breastfeed your baby and struggling perhaps check out Breastfeeding tips found here.
If you find you are having troubles with breastfeeding or want to educate yourself more about breastfeeding, try this course! Milkology helps with everything from understanding why to breastfeed to helping you on your breastfeeding journey. What do you have to lose?!
There you have it—reasons why breastfeeding is best for your baby and you.
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Eveliina is an intern currently working with us! She is on her way to getting her degree in Marriage and Family Studies! Eveliina is a wife, a mom, and a grandma. She loves every moment of life. She also has a love for photography and reading!