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20 Ways Breast Feeding Benefits Mom and Baby

Updated on April 16, 2015
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Normalize Breastfeeding!

In a culture that is becoming more and more sexual, breastfeeding becomes more and more hidden. Breast are seen for sexual purposes more than anything. That leaves even mother's feeling weird or odd for wanting to breastfeed their children. We live in a time when if we do encourage breastfeeding, we rush mothers to wean their baby as soon as possible.

This is a sad situation when breastfeeding is not only best for baby, but also offers lots of benefits for mom. Why should you let society make you feel weird for doing the best thing for baby and you? YOU SHOULDN'T!

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10 Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom

  1. Weight Loss - Yes ladies, breastfeeding will help you lose weight! Mother's who breastfeed are shown to have a significantly higher weight loss by one month postpartum and return to their pre pregnancy weight earlier than formula feeding moms.
  2. Less Post Partum Depression - Mother's who breastfeed are shown to suffer less postpartum depression than formula feeding mothers.
  3. Lowers chances of Osteoporosis - Non-breastfeeding women have a four times greater chance of developing osteoporosis than breastfeeding women.
  4. Reduces your chance of getting Breast Cancer - Mother's who breastfeed their children reduce their chances of breast cancer by up to 25 percent. Studies show the longer you breastfeed your children the lower your chances become of getting breast cancer.
  5. Lower risk of uterine and ovarian cancer - It is thought that the less estrogen available to stimulate the lining of the uterus, the less the risk of these tissues becoming cancerous.
  6. Less menstrual periods - While not all mothers experience this, most mothers stop having menstrual periods while breastfeeding! One less hassle to worry about while having an infant to care for!
  7. Breastfeeding is cheap - While there are purchases that make breastfeeding easier, non are required. Formula costs the average parent $1200 a year. That is a big savings if you decide to breastfeed.
  8. Go Green - Breastfeeding is great for the environment. No formula containers to fill the land fills and no wasting water washing bottles. This makes mom's life better long run!
  9. Less to pack in the Diaper bag before trips - No need to pack formula, water, and bottles. This makes actually getting out the house much easier!
  10. More Sleep - What mother doesn't need more sleep? Nursing mothers report being able to sleep more and fall back to sleep easier than formula feeding mothers.

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10 Ways Breastfeeding Benefits Baby

  1. Less Ear infections - Studies show babies who are breastfed suffer from 23% less ear infections than formula fed infants.
  2. Better sight - Visual acuity is higher in babies that are breastfed.
  3. Lower Chances of SIDS - One study found that breastfeeding was associated with a 36 percent reduction in the risk of SIDS compared to not breastfeeding. Another study completed since that study was done found a 50 percent reduction in the risk of SIDS as a result of breastfeeding.
  4. Reduced chances of Asthma - Breastfeeding for at least 3 months was associated with a 27 percent reduction in the risk of asthma for those without a family history of asthma and a 40 percent reduction for those with a family history of asthma.
  5. Less spit up and gas– Babies are able to digest 100% of breast milk which leads to less spit-up and burping, the same cannot be said for formula.
  6. Protects against obesity – Breastfed babies regulate their own feedings from the beginning, which helps them to develop healthier eating patterns as they grow and develop.
  7. Less Colds - Breastfed infants have a stronger immune system and are able to fight off colds easier than formula fed infants.
  8. Higher IQ - This one is debatable among many formula feeding moms, however multiple studies show formula fed infants have lower IQ's later in life than breastfed children.
  9. Better teeth - Children who are breastfed are less likely to develop cavities and have less tooth decay than formula fed children.
  10. Sleep better - Breast milk contains natural sleeping aids. This is why babies fall asleep at the breast so easily. More sleep for baby equals more sleep for Mom! Also a baby who is well rested is happier during the day!

Informing Mothers

Informing mothers of all the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding is not an insult to formula feeding mothers. All mothers should do what is best for their unique situation. With information comes knowledge. With that knowledge we develop the ability to care for our family the best ways possible.

On a final note, your breast are made for babies! While our breasts do have some added benefits outside of our children, those benefits should not be a reason to opt out of breastfeeding. Having a good communication line with your partner will help get past any issues that may arise and quite honestly communication may make things all the more fun.

Remember ladies, even with all the information provided, if you are unable to breastfeed do not feel like you did anything wrong. With my first child I just couldn't do it. I tried everything I could. 2 weeks into it I was so stressed, miserable, and depressed that it was doing more harm than good. I switched him to formula and guess what? He survived and after I got over the silly notion of feeling like a failure we were on to being happy!

Are you/Were you a Breastfeeding mom?

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Formula Feeding Moms

When a breastfeeding mother points out the benefits of breastfeeding she is not insulting you as a parent. So many online sites seem to put formula feeding moms against breastfeeding moms. In the process everyone will lose. Next time you open a can of formula look around that can. Somewhere on the side it will say "breastfeeding is best for baby". The formula companies know this. That is why they spend so much money marketing. They give out tons of samples. They get hospitals involved in the process. Many hospitals offer more information on formula than they do breastfeeding.

Our bodies were made for breastfeeding. Our infants bodies were made to digest human breast milk. Don't let formula companies make you feel like you must formula feed. Almost every breastfeeding challenge can be over come with the right knowledge.

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    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 5 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great hub! I'm still breastfeeding my fifteen month old. I definitely agree with the weight loss. I lost all of my pregnancy weight plus fifteen pounds. It was so amazing to be able to eat all I wanted and still lose weight!

      I like that you put the part about lowered breast and uterine cancer. That benefit isn't mentioned enough in the arguments for breastfeeding.

    • Annsalo profile image
      Author

      Annsalo 5 years ago from Somewhere

      Some breastfeeding is so much better than no breastfeeding! Thanks for the comment!

    • Mom Kat profile image

      Mom Kat 5 years ago from USA

      Nice hub. I breast fed all 6 of my children. I was only able to produce enough milk for about 2 months with each of them before I had to supplement with formula, but I believe it is important both for the health of the baby and the bond between mother & child.