In keeping with the theme from last week’s post, let’s talk about breastfeeding. This can be a sensitive topic for new or expecting moms- it’s natural (but challenging), it’s better than formula (but not as convenient), it helps you bond with your child (but can stress you out, too). In light of this, I will stick to the positive benefits of breastfeeding and leave this highly personal decision up to you.
Breastfeeding is one of the hallmarks of mammals. Mice, elephants, cows, and humans all developed the unique ability produce the perfect food for their babies- milk.
A really attractive natural aspect of breastfeeding is that it may help moms lose the baby weight. Making breast milk helps your body burn calories that formula feeding doesn’t. And as we said last week, breastfeeding can reduce your risk of breast cancer.
It’s better than formula
Breast milk contains everything that formula does, plus extra beneficial ingredients. Moms pass along antibodies (immune cells) that help babies fight off infections. Studies show that breastfed babies are better protected against a variety of diseases, including ear infections, digestive problems, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and even obesity and diabetes later in life.
Another cool thing about breast milk is that it’s nutritional profile changes in response to what the baby needs. The breast milk of a mother with a premature baby is different and better suited to the nutritional needs of a premature baby than the breast milk the mother of a full term baby produces. The breast milk for a newborn is different than the breast milk for an older baby.
Best of all, breastfeeding can save you between $1,200-$1,500 dollars.
It helps you bond with your baby
The act of nursing triggers a hormonal response (oxytocin, the “love hormone”) in moms that helps build trust, love and affection. While moms still release oxytocin and fall in love with their babies when formula-feeding, the hormonal response lower.
I would love to hear about your experiences with breastfeeding. What was the best part about breastfeeding your child? What was the most challenging for you? Did you have good support from your loved ones?
For more information on breastfeeding, visit these sites: