Last Updated on April 23, 2022 by Ray
As moms, we all want what’s best for our babies. We want to keep them happy, content, and most of all, healthy. However, the internet is absolutely oversaturated with conflicting information and heated opinions about the most controversial mom coaching topic of all: breastfeeding.
There are plenty of deciding factors when choosing whether or not to breastfeed, and whatever you choose is ultimately your decision. However, breastfeeding is the most natural option and has a remarkable amount of benefits for both you and baby.
Here are the top 10 reasons for every mom to breastfeed their baby
1. Breast milk is by far the most nutritious food for your baby
Breast milk is designed by a mother’s body specifically for their babies and contains the exact nutrients that they need to grow healthy and strong. In fact, your body will automatically alter the amounts of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and fats depending on what your baby needs, all in an easily-digestible liquid.
In fact, most doctors agree that the best practice is to feed babies a diet consisting exclusively of their mother’s breast milk for at least the first six months of their little lives.
The only thing that might be missing from your breast milk is vitamin D, which can be supplemented by taking vitamins.
2. Breastfeeding can prevent your baby from getting sick
Colostrum, the unique type of breast milk your body produces shortly after you give birth, is chock full of the antibodies that you encounter in your everyday life, helping to boost your baby’s immune system. Additionally, colostrum is very thick and gooey and coats your baby’s digestive tract, throat, and nose with a protective liner that prevents harmful germs from finding their way into their immune system. Baby formulas offer none of these protections.
3. Breastfeeding can actually stop your baby from getting diseases
Because breast milk, especially colostrum, is so full of antibodies and vitamins, it can stop your baby from contracting dangerous diseases and sicknesses, such as:
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Crohn’s and other bowel disorders
- Respiratory infections
- Tissue damage
4. No prep time: breast milk is always hot and ready!
Unlike formula, which must be carefully prepared and heated to the perfect temperature in order to be safe for your baby, breast milk is always ready to go, whenever your baby needs it — without the need to boil water and do dishes after feeding. Additionally, breast milk is ready for the baby no matter where you are, making feeding on the go a breeze.
5. Breastfeeding is healthier for moms, too
Not only does the energy your body exhausts making breast milk help you lose weight, it can also help prevent you from contracting dangerous illnesses and diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer.
6. Breastfeeding can help prevent childhood obesity.
Many brands of baby formula have higher concentrations of sugar, fat, and carbohydrates. Because breast milk contains all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs and only the things your baby needs, it isn’t pumping the baby full of unnecessary calories, which helps keep the baby at a healthy weight and sets them up for future success.
Additionally, babies instinctively only drink as much breast milk as they need (even if it feels like they are feeding all the time!) meaning that their caloric intake is only what is necessary. When a baby can establish healthy eating habits right from the beginning, it makes it much easier for them to self-regulate as they get older.
7. Breastfeeding helps you bond with your little one
Just like your body releases the hormone oxytocin (also known as the love hormone) when you are in labor and every time you snuggle with your little one, it is produced by your body every time you breastfeed.
The increased production of oxytocin paired with the extra skin-on-skin time you have with your baby means that you and your little one will be forming a strong and beautiful bond that will last a lifetime.
8. Breastfeeding is much more budget-friendly than feeding formula.
Depending on the brand, baby formula can cost a family up to $1,200 to $1,500 a year for just one baby. If you are a mom with twins or even triplets, this cost is significantly more expensive. Not to mention the money you will have to spend on bottles, mixers, sanitizers… the list goes on.
Luckily, breastfeeding only requires two things: a mom and a baby! Your body has been designed to do this, so you won’t need any extra supplies (except a breast pump for when you’re away) costing your family nothing but the low, low price of free.
9. Breastfeeding puts you at a lower risk of developing postpartum depression.
As moms, we want to give our babies the best, but it’s hard to do that if you develop postpartum depression or PPD. Moms who get PPD feel deep, overwhelming sadness and listlessness after labor, and it can be a heartbreaking experience for those who go through it. Moms who have PPD report difficulties bonding with their child, even feeling as if they don’t love their new baby, which can lead to worsening mental illness and even suicide.
According to studies, new moms who start breastfeeding shortly after their child’s birth are at a decreased risk of developing postpartum depression.
10. Breastfeeding is better for the environment
Last but not least, breastfeeding is not only easier on your wallet, but also on Mother Earth! Breastfeeding is 100% natural and doesn’t produce any trash. Formula feeding, on the other hand, generates so much trash that cannot be reused that ultimately ends up in a landfill. If you want to help keep the Earth healthy so that the next generation can inherit it, breastfeed.
Is it Okay to Not Breastfeed?
It will be fine if you choose not to breastfeed or simply can’t. Lactation can be affected by an extensive list of personal factors and altered by various physical reasons. In fact, sixty percent of mothers do not breastfeed directly as long as originally intended.
Difficulties with latching and issues with lactation can make it difficult. Fortunately, there are many safe and adequate nutrition alternatives to breastmilk feeding. Some of these feeding plans include pumping the milk from the breast. For parents who choose this method, a baby can get all the benefits of human milk without any complications of feeding on the breast directly.
Breastfeeding can be difficult, and sometimes the supply can run low or even dry. To avoid issues with your infant’s growth, parents may choose to feed exclusively with formula. Sometimes if possible, a combination of what they can pump naturally mixed with infant formula is best effective.
Formulas can be a safe and nutritious way to feed your baby, and they are carefully regulated and made to be a proper replacement for breast milk. However, if you are worried about judgment or attachment issues, you shouldn’t be. Not breastfeeding directly isn’t proven to change the attachment between parent and infant.
Body-to-body contact alone is proven to be enough bonding while feeding your newborn. Talking or singing to the baby while feeding also can help continue to add to the connection between parent and child.
No matter which feeding method seems right for you and your family, it is most important to stay in touch with your health professionals to check on the baby’s nutrition and weight.
Again, the decision of whether or not to breastfeed lies entirely with you. However, the health benefits (for both you and baby!) and the reduced cost are all powerful arguments in support of keeping things natural and breastfeeding.