Breastfeeding can be a daunting thought for a new mother, but the reasons to breastfeed definitely outweigh any fears and negative reasons not to! It can be difficult, especially if the baby has trouble latching on- but don't give up! Babies are born knowing the instincts to receive nourishment from their mother's breasts. Here are some beautiful reasons to breastfeed your baby that should take away any doubts and fears you may have!
1. It's the Best Nourishment
Even with all the fortified formulas on the market, the best nourishment for your baby comes from you. A mother's milk contains loads of essential nutrients for baby's current and future health, including protecting against diabetes and obesity. This is one of the vital reasons to breastfeed! Casein and Whey protein are also found in breast milk in perfect balance for baby to easily digest. It's good to note that formula is generally harsher on baby's sensitive digestive system. Other proteins include lactoferrin, which inhibits iron-dependent bacteria, the enzyme Lysozyme to protect against baby E. coli and Salmonella, immunoglobulins IgA/IgM/IgG protect against viral and bacterial infections, and Bifidus factor, which stimulates the growth of the good bacteria lactobacillus.
2. Fats, Vitamins and Living Cells
Long-chain fatty acids are found in breast milk that are essential for brain, retinal, and nervous system development. Vitamins are an important factor that stem from a mother's diet, which is why it's important to continue with prenatal vitamins after delivery. The living cells, Leukocytes, are found in breast milk and fight off infection. The Leukocytes, hormones, enzymes and antibodies found in a mother's milk can't be added to formula, making it absolutely ideal for your baby!
3. It's What Nature Intended
We are mammals and therefore designed to be able to feed our offspring through our own bodies. Humans are the most unique and awesome in this respect because it's a natural process, yet it's a choice we make. Sometimes it can be easy to give up with the frustrations that lactation brings. There's swelling, possible mastitis, failure to latch properly, milk supply issues, and sore nipples. All of these factors however can be taken care of and are mostly all common to the first two weeks post delivery! Once baby has the hang of it, it's so easy and satisfying for both you and your little one.
4. You Create a Strong Bond with Your Child
If you have yet to experience breastfeeding, then you're in for something super special and unique. It creates such a strong bond between you and your baby, that you just don't get from bottle feeding. Delivering nourishment from your own body, the warmth of your skin, baby grasping your chest while she eats are all beautiful components of the magic of breastfeeding.
5. No One else Can Feed Your Child the Same Way
Isn't it fantastic to know that mom has the ability to do what no one else can do? Yes, others can supplement with formula, but it's certainly not the same thing as a baby's mother breastfeeding her child. And babies crave that attention and connection with mom! That's why it can be difficult to ween some children because it's a deep source of comfort and protection for them. My son breastfed until he was 18 months and my body just naturally dropped off my milk supply. Both myself and my son were ready and it was a smooth and perfect transition.
6. Helps You Lose Baby Weight Faster
While it took me about 9 months to lose the baby weight, I attributed my steady weight loss to breastfeeding! I did exercise, but at a low to moderate level 3x a week. Your body burns up to 500 calories to produce breast milk- crazy! So, make sure you're getting lots of whole, nutrient-dense foods to maintain your healthy supply.
7. It's Convenient!
Last but not least, breastfeeding is extremely convenient. Wherever you go, your milk is always freshly available. Even if you work, you can pump your milk and freeze it for your baby and it will last a long time, saving you a ton of money on formula. Once the fear of being in public while nursing goes away, it's so easy to just slip on a cover and have your baby nurse away.
Breastfeeding is one of those treasured pleasures in life that's only experienced for a short season. It's so worth it though! If you're planning on nursing your future babies, what are some things you're excited about? How about fears? For those of you who have nursed before, what did you love about it?