You hear the phrase “breast is best” all the time, and that just means that breastfeeding is most beneficial way to feed your baby. Not only does breastfeeding provide the proper ratio of nutrients, but there are benefits for bonding, baby’s health, mom’s health, and your wallet. There are endless reasons why “breast is best”, I choose to highlight why I would choose breastfeeding as a first avenue of feeding my baby.
Skin to Skin: When breastfeeding you can get all the benefits of skin to skin, especially in the first hours of life. The baby’s body temperature will regulate to the mom’, this is especially important with infants and newborns to keep their bodies at an ideal temperature. Skin to skin also induces bonding between baby and mom, or whoever is doing skin to skin with baby. Breastfeeding also allows the baby to make eye contact with mom. A newborn’s eye sight has not fully developed by birth. They can only see as far as from the breast to mom’s eyes.
Baby’s Health: When the baby is on the breast, the brain gets information about what nutrients the baby needs. Breastmilk contains vitamins, protein, and fat. These are all things baby needs to grow. So if the baby has a deficiency in a vitamin, for example, the brain adjusts the milk accordingly. Breastfeeding also lowers the risk or asthma and allergy problems for the baby. It, also, lowers the risk of obesity. Formula can have a lot of sugar, which can cause unnecessary weight gain.
Mother’s Health: Breastfeeding can help you get back to pre-pregnancy weight. As long as mom continues to eat healthy, that extra weight will disappear. Breastfeeding will lower mom’s risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Savings: Breastfeeding can save you time and money! You won’t have to spend money on formula or bottles (unless pumping). You, also, won’t have to worry about fixing a bottle in the middle of the night, out in public, or while on a road trip. Breastfeeding is very convenient and very free!
Next to childbirth, breastfeeding is an amazing, natural ability with a lot of great benefits. There are so many resources out there on all of the benefits of breastfeeding. If you are considering breastfeeding as a path, I encourage you to reach out to your local support groups, lactation counselors, other breastfeeding moms, or just a quick search on google. My hope is that you feel supported and loved in every aspect of your parenting journey.