Facts about breastfeeding can sometimes get overlooked in the frenzy of decision making that new parents often face. Between the info overload on the types of formula and bottles, to how long to wait before giving your baby solids, its no wonder that breastfeeding is considered outdated! However, breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your baby. Here are some super neat facts about breastfeeding you probably didn’t know!
1. Breast Milk Provides All Your Baby’s Nutrition
One of the neat facts about breastfeeding is that breast milk provides all your baby’s nutrition without supplements. According to the World Health Organization online, less than 40% of babies under 6 months old are exclusively breastfed around the world. Your baby will not need supplements until close to a year if you exclusively breastfeed. It’s a rare instance that babies aren’t getting what they need from mother’s milk before they turn one.
2. Your Baby’s Saliva Communicates with Your Body
While you are breastfeeding, your baby’s saliva is hard at work making sure your body knows what your baby is lacking! Your milk is full of minerals and vitamins, and your body knows when your baby is lacking in a necessary mineral. Breast milk is ever changing to meet baby’s needs and that is something that formula can never duplicate!
3. Breastfeeding Burns Calories
It’s estimated that breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories a day! Perhaps even more depending on how often your baby eats or how many babies you are feeding in the case of multiples. Now I don’t know about you, but burning calories while sitting on my couch watching TV sounds like a pretty good trade to me!
4. Higher Immunities for Mom and Baby Both
Breast milk is loaded with antibodies that help boost your baby's immune system and lower risks of catching many sicknesses and diseases later in life. That tidbit is pretty common knowledge throughout the breastfeeding world. But did you know that if your baby is exposed to a germ that you have never been in contact with, through breastfeeding you can build immunity to that germ? What a beneficial relationship!
5. Better Jaw Development for Baby
Breastfeeding is hard work for your little baby. Bottles have larger holes in the nipples so that the milk flows out faster than your breast, making breastfeeding more work for your little one. This is good because it encourages strong jaw development and excellent muscle growth in the mouth and neck. Breastfed babies are less likely to need as much dental work down the road!
6. Breastfeeding Lowers Baby’s Risk of SIDS
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a very real and very scary thing. Many of us probably know someone who has dealt with SIDS. While breastfeeding will not entirely eliminate your baby’s risk of SIDS, it will reduce it considerably. According to askdrsears.com, babies between 2 and 6 months of age are more likely to pass away from SIDS then any other age.
7. Breastfeeding Requires Dedication
Now with all these wonderful facts on breastfeeding, I could hardly let you go on thinking that breastfeeding is a walk in the park. It does require dedication, and hard work. However, it DOES get better. And it’s definitely easier than fixing bottles and warming formula up! Breastfeeding is a wonderful gift that only you can give your baby.
Being a new, breastfeeding mom myself, these facts were pleasantly surprising to learn! If you are debating between the bottle and the breast, I would highly encourage you to research your options. Make an informed decision! Formula is a gift for those mothers that cannot breastfeed, but breast milk is loaded with benefits that formula can never duplicate. Are you considering breastfeeding?