Do you know the pros of breastfeeding for moms and babies? Or are you one of the thousands of mothers around the world who is afraid and scared of nursing their babies because of many testimonials about pain in breastfeeding. In case you haven’t made up your mind yet, to what are you going to feed your little ones and your still confused in choosing between breast milk or formula, let me help you to clear your perception about this.
In this article I would like to tackle the pros of breastfeeding for moms and babies. I don’t have anything against formula or bottle feeding. I just want to emphasize the benefits or pros of breastfeeding.
Like pregnancy and childbirth, you should learn about breastfeeding. Making the decision to breastfeed is a personal matter. Opinions from friends and family also matters(Yes, I know!). WHO (Word Health Organization) strongly recommends and actively promotes breastfeeding as the best source of nourishment for infants and young children. It is the most effective way to ensure child health and survival. However, you and your baby are one of a kind and the decision is up to you.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Moms and Babies
Pros of breastfeeding for your baby
- Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants
- Your breast make a thick, sticky, yellowish fluid sometimes referred to as “liquid gold”, called colostrum. It is the first milk your breasts produces during pregnancy. This liquid has nearly perfect mix of vitamins, protein, calcium, potassium, minerals, fats and antibodies everything your baby needs to grow and important to his development.
- Promotes easy digestion and protection
- Breast milk offers vital early protection and helps to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria by coating your baby’s digestive system. Breast milk is easily digested than infant formula. Breastfeed baby have a increased resistance to infections due to numerous components in breast milk that help your baby fight diseases.
- Certainly less trips to Doctor and Hospitalization
- Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. Babies exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months have lower risk of having asthma or allergies thus, absolutely lessen your baby’s trip to his doctor/ pediatrician.
- Gain the right amount of weight
- Breastfeeding reduces a child’s risk of becoming overweight as a teen or adult. Breast milk contains less amount of fats than formula. The fats in human milk are essential for the health of your baby which is rich in brain-building omega 3’s namely DHA and AA that’s vital for brain development, contains fat-digesting enzyme (lipase) and nearly completely absorbed fats that prevents unpleasant smelling stools in babies.
- Safety and portable
- Breast milk is sterile. It is always safe, fresh and exactly the right temperature. There is no need for sterilization, warming and cleaning. Except for a working mother who don’t have a choice but to pump and just store her milk and used it at a later time. However, there are proper guidelines in collecting, storing and thawing breast milk.
- Breast milk offers variations in taste
- Breastfeeding exposes your baby to many different tastes. Unlike formula milk that only have one consistent taste. Through breast milk, your baby will eventually gets a slight taste of whatever you eat, although not directly. This will make introducing solid food easier in later stages and helps your baby’s sense of taste to improve.
Benefits for the Mother
- Breastfeeding helps to lose pregnancy weight faster and get you back into shape
- Breastfeeding burns extra calories for 400-600 calories a day, so it can help you lose weight and return to your pre-pregnancy size sooner (that is what every women wants, to look fabulous again). Breastfeeding helps mom to get back in shape after pregnancy and aids post delivery healing.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer
- Nursing stimulates the release of hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth. You’ll have a lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer because estrogen levels are also decrease during lactation.
- Inexpensive and natural birth control
- Breastfeeding delays ovulation, the longer a mother exclusively breastfeeds the more she is able to practice natural child spacing. And also, it means delayed menstruation, so no more sanitary pads.(Hooray for the budget!)
- Convenient and budget wise
- You don’t have to heat it, boil water or sterilize bottles and measure formula milk, it saves you time, especially at night feedings which makes life a lot easier. You also saves money, imagine how breastfeeding increase your savings monthly.
Benefits both for moms and babies
- Priceless bond and happiness
- Breastfeeding gives you regular time to relax with your newborn as you bond. Your precious time with him/her gives you enormous joy, calmness and a feeling of completeness that boost your psychological and emotional health.
- Nursing your bundle of joy will help him improve his senses. Your little one can smell you, they have a strong sense of smell and he know the unique scent of your breast milk. That is why your baby will turn his head to you when he is hungry.(I experienced this, so many times and it brings elated laughter.) Moreover, your baby can see you up close. Babies are born extremely nearsighted, which means they can only see things within 8-15 inches away. It’s the distance between your faces. Cherish those eye to eye contact moment and witness his first glance of smile. Additionally, the sense of hearing will be develop as you read stories for him as well as talking and singing will build your baby’s personality and encourages language development. Most importantly, the sense of touch is being developed through cuddling and swaddling as you hold your baby more often while feeding. They feel warm, secure and skin-to-skin contact is really therapeutic for infants.
Breastfeeding is a great way to learn about your baby, you are given the advantage to read and know your baby’s cues a lot better, as time passed by you will surely get to know each other.
In some instances, I’m sure you’ve heard your parents, in-laws and friends telling you what you need to do if your baby starting to fuss. It’s normal, but don’t panic, moms knows best, right? It’s not wrong to listen to them but you know what your baby needs, you have that bond that they didn’t know. Sometimes, trusting your intuition may help you soothe your baby’s shedding of tears.
May this write-up about the pros of breastfeeding for moms and babies clear your mind and make it easier for us to disseminate its bountiful benefits.