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Six Benefits of Breastfeeding

Updated on April 29, 2011

I always find it interesting how many women leave the hospital without knowing all the benefits of breastfeeding. They would rather opt out of doing it because it hurts or the baby hasn't latched on quickly enough to get the gist of how it all works.

Yet, human beings are the only ones that make this misguided assumption! Unless something is physically wrong, a woman's body is built to accommodate a breastfeeding babe. Most of the time many young or first time mothers don't commit to breastfeeding because they do not have enough information to convince them that it is the best thing they can possible do for themselves and for their newborn infant.

I am a proponent of breastfeeding for all the various reasons, that make me enjoy the aspect of love and nurturing children, but beyond the obvious, breastfeeding is one of the most ideal ways to bond with a new human being.

The benefits of nursing your child outweighs any initial pain or argument that may arise because of the difference of opinions.

Newborns like any other species on the earth come with an innate ability to feed. A mother who lactates is built to bring nutrition to the infant in a way that enhances both the emotional attachment and physical development for mother and child.

Newborn baby.
Newborn baby. | Source

First three benefits.

These first three benefits all have to do with the health and well being of both the mother and the newborn. You know at all times what the child will be consuming and that it is all natural and the best of all your body can process.

It doesn't matter how short of a period that you breastfeed but doing it on a consistent basis for six months makes it easier for mom and more beneficial to the babe. I know as long as a woman is breastfeeding her body will continue to make whatever milk is necessary to satisfy the child but i have personal feelings about how long a woman should breastfeed a child.

Both for her well being and the child's a mother should always be evaluating their emotional and physical development. But every mother has control on when she would prefer to wean her child from the breast, the bottle and the pacifier!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mother's exclusively breastfeed their new babies for the first six months of life, because the child receives all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals necessary to protect their lives from disease and illnesses!

1. Baby's health benefits.

Since, breast milk produces immune protection for a child breastfed babies normally don't suffer many of the conditions that other infants do, for instance infections like ear infections are typically low or non existent amongst breastfed infants.

They typically have less or no problems with allergies and allergens because their mother has passed on necessary ingredients through her milk to help the child.

The newborn's digestion is typically stronger and their bowel movements are known to be easier.

A study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says that up to 20% of breastfed children have a lower risk of dying before the age of 1 years old than those who weren't.

1. Builds immunity through disease fighting antibodies, colostrum known as liquid gold contains nutrients that are released in baby's milk

2. Helps with fighting food allergies, mature milk has the right amount of sugar, protein, water, and fat, since it is uniquely perfect for baby. May also be linked with fighting obesity.

3. Breast milk is easier for baby to digest which gives the child's system time to grow, and strengthen so that it can process heavy foods.

4. Breastfeeding has been linked to enhancing your child's intelligence.

5. Helps with social development.

2. Mother's health benefits.

1. Breastfeeding helps mom lose excess weight.

2. Causes the womb to contract and retract into the body, re strengthening the muscles.

3. Helps with any discomfort in breasts and the reduction of stress.

4. Helps with menstration pains.

5. Is linked with reducing certain diseases, like Type 2 diabetes, Breast and ovarian cancer and postpartum depression.

3. Emotional benefits for both mother and child.

1. The child learns it's mother's smell, which makes it comfortable bonding with her.

2. Well being of a suckling child is soothing to both mother and child, child is less sick, which helps with postpartum depression.

3. The infant learns to recognize mom's heart beat and voice.

4. Mother learns to recognize child, sounds, cries and personality.

5. Support and well being of family group, seems to strengthen through the practice.

4. No bottle necessary.

With breastfeeding you do not have to bother with a bottle! The convenience of breastfeeding is absolutely freeing, especially for a busy mom. You don't have to warm up the milk, test to see if it is too hot or too cold. You don't have to test if it is still good, no expiration date advised by the FDA.

You don't have to worry if the formula is correct or if your measurements are right.

You don't have to worry whether to use glass, plastic or bags. You don't have to struggle with which nipple needs to be washed or if it is cleaned or if it is baby's favorite.

You don't have to worry about loosing it, or if you forgot it somewhere or if you packed enough bottles for the trip.

With breastfeeding all that is required is YOU! That you are eating properly and feeling healthy, no other attachment or gadget required other than you - baby's built in milk machine.

5. Budget friendly and economically accessible.

Any mother, rich or poor can breast feed! It all depends on mom, and whether or not she chooses to go the frugal way that can assist with the family budget or the expensive way which requires that more money is spent on things like bottles, nipples and all the gadgets that are necessary when one starts having to use them.

When one is not breastfeeding the number of bottles increases and the baby's expenses increase. But if you are breastfeeding you never have to spend as much on all the stuff that one thinks they need.

When you begin to pump the milk, the number of bottles are still a lot less than if you were not breastfeeding baby.

Breastfeeding moms are known to miss less time at work, and are more productive because of this according to the Breastfeeding Benefits Society.

Breastfeeding can save up to 1,200 to 1,500 a year on average depending on what a mother's needs and supplies are, when taking care of baby.

Lowers health care costs, cause babies are often less sick.

6. It is all natural.

Many of us are concerned with buying things for baby, from the toys they play, to the clothes they wear or the type of formula they will drink.

Most of us have had the battle of spending money on some brand of baby formula only to have the infant spit it up for various reasons.

We have endured having to chose between powdered or liquid milk, whether we can afford it and the diapers, the expiration date or how it will affect our bundle of joy, and their digestion.

Well with breast milk you know that it is all natural. Whatever you are eating is what you are passing onto the child and because no one else is handling it you know it is safe. You are fully aware that your body is the only production plant that the milk is being produced in, but you must be cognizant of the fact that you can do the healthy way or non healthy way.

So, making sure that you are eating a nutritionally sound diet will be advantageous to baby as well as to your overall health.

A markerAbbott Laboratories, Sturgis Michigan -
Sturgis, MI 49091, USA
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