I have been thinking lately about the benefits of breastfeeding compared to those of bottle/baby formula feeding. Personally, I do not see how breastfeeding could be so "inconvenient" to some mothers.First of all, my babies food is ALWAYS: made, warmed, the perfect amount, sterile and contains everything he needs to thrive. I cannot imagine how irritating it must be to have to wake up, make a bottle, warm it up and then sit there while feeding your baby. I would have never gotten sleep if I didn't practice safe co-sleeping and side-lying nursing.
One of the best things about breastfeeding is that it is FREE. Yes, you heard me right, you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on bottles, nipples, warmers, bottle brushes, formula...etc. And when you factor in the benefits to baby and mom, there really is NO comparison.
Here are a few (not even close to all) of the benefits of breastfeeding:
- Babies receive the most complete and optimal mix of nutrients & antibodies
- Reduced risk of chronic constipation, colic, and other stomach upsets
- Reduced risk of childhood diabetes
- Protection against ear infections, respiratory illnesses, pneumonia, bronchitis, kidney infections, septicemia (blood poisoning),
- Protection against allergies, asthma, eczema, and severity of allergic disease
- Reduced risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) Statistics reveal that for every 87 deaths from SIDS, only 3 are breastfed.
- Breastfed infants develop higher IQ's, and have improved brain and nervous system development
- Breastfeeding plays an important role in the emotional and spiritual development of babies
- Breastfed babies enjoy a special warm bonding and emotional relationship with their mothers
- Are hospitalized 10 times less than formula fed infants in the first year of life
- Decreased risk for acute appendicitis, rheumatoid arthritis, inguinal hernia, pyloric stenosis
- There are factors in human milk that destroy E coli, salmonella, shigella, streptococcus, pneumococcus....and many others
- Less risk of childhood obesity.
- I could add 100 more things...
- Reduced risk of breast, ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancers
- Reduced risk of anemia
- Protection against osteoporosis and hip fracture later in life
- Helps delay return of fertility and to space subsequent pregnancies
- Develops a special emotional relationship and bonding with her child
- Breastfed babies are sick less thus reducing health care costs to family in Doctor office visits, prescriptions, over the counter medicine purchases, and hospitalizations
- Helps the uterus contract after birth to control postpartum bleeding
- Breastfeeding saves moms about 7 hours a week off their feet.
- It's the only time you can ever lose weight without dieting or exercise!
- Breastfed babies smell great....spit ups don't stain, or smell, and poopie diapers are not offensive...(until solids are introduced)
- The strong bond developed with nursing is much more intense.
- Breastfeeding requires the use of only one arm....you can do other things while breastfeeding, (except cooking and driving)
- Many, many more benefits, too much to list!
I realize that breastfeeding can be difficult at first, and it really is something that mom and baby must take time to learn to do. But when you read these benefits, don't you agree that it is worth it? In our society, women are misled everyday to believe that formula is a reasonable replacement for breast milk. When in reality, it could never measure up. So please, give breastfeeding everything you've got. Call for help. There are many many wonderful friends, Doulas, Lactation consultants and more that are more than willing to help you! Come get support at your local La Leche League meeting. Not to mention the plethora of information here on the internet.
KellyMom is a great source.
La Leche League International
You and your baby both deserve the best.
(Some of this was pulled from this source . Thank you so much!)