BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING
There are millions of articles out there on the benefits of breastfeeding. The reason for this is that it truly is the most wonderful and rewarding way to feed your baby. Are there circumstances where a mom is unable to...yes. As moms, we should respect and honor the choices we make and embrace our differences. I hold true to a non judgemental and accepting view of all moms, as there is no harder job than that of a mom.
That being said, I am passionate about the choice to breastfeed and want to share with you my top 5 reasons for choosing to breastfeed my own children. It has been years since I have breastfed my children, but I can say that it was the most beautiful experience I have had as a mom (excluding their births, of course). Here goes:
1. Bonding between mother and baby: Breastfeeding stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone, which can enhance bonding between mom and baby.
2. Immune protection: Baby is protected due to the immunological properties in breastmilk.
3. Mom recovers quicker: Breastfeeding promotes the release of oxytocin, which in turn promotes uterine contractions helping mom to recover more quickly from birth. Breastfeeding also delays the return of menstruation.
4. Expense: Lets face it, it is cheaper to feed from the breast than to spend oodles of money on formula.
5. Baby's emotional needs are satisfied: Breastfeeding is a time for mom and baby to spend cuddling. Spending this time skin to skin helps babies feel nurtured and satisfied. Studies show that premature babies, whether breastfed or not, that are held skin to skin, have increased survival rates.
One additional reason to breastfeed is the convenience of it. The food is always available and always at the right temperature. A crying baby does not want to wait until the formula is mixed and brought to the right temperature. You can also breastfeed anywhere.
Whether you are a stay at home mom or are planning to return to work, it is very convenient. Most companies allow time and a suitable space for the breastfeeding mom to pump or nurse her baby. Breast pumps are awesome these days, so most women can pump breastmilk in a very short period of time.
For a different (very funny, but true) take on breastfeeding, take a look at "Scary Mommy" blog, entitled 10 (Mildly Shallow) Reasons to Breastfeed. For those who have challenges with breastfeeding, there are many supports available. A quick internet search can bring you to the local support that you need. Your local La Leche League is a great place to start.
Yours in Health, Suzanne
|Top: three of my breastfed babies, and Below: My now 9 year old, who very much dislikes getting his picture taken..|