The Benefits Of Breastfeeding

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benefits-of-breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is another element of attachment parenting that give’s your child the upper hand.  Choosing to breastfeed is making an investment in your baby’s growth and development and furthermore- their future.  No one knows your child better than you, and the breast milk your body produces is a perfect example of that.

Formula is made in factories by workers and people who will never know you or your family.  Though these products are made healthy overall, formula poses a number of threats to your child.  First and foremost, most formulas are made from cow’s milk which is harder for an infant to digest.    Second, formula stays the same through different stages of development.  Your breast milk changes from day one to day five, in order to fit your child’s needs.

Colostrum is a main component in breast milk.  The first time you feed your child, the milk will be rich and almost yellow in color.  This is because it is packed full of colostrum which provides essential nutrients and antibodies that protect your child from infection and helps your infant’s digestive system to grow and function.  Over time, colostrum in your milk will lesson as it caters to your baby’s growth.    The mature milk will have the perfect amount of fat, sugar, water and protein your child needs to continue growing.

In addition to protecting your baby from illness, researchers have tied a number of benefits to breast milk.  Breastfed babies have a much lower risk of asthma, ear infection, SIDS, and various childhood cancers.  In the case of a water emergency, a breastfed child is safe from an unclean supply.   Furthermore, a parent who breastfeeds never have to worry about factory recalls, or harmful chemicals that have a lifelong effect.

On an emotional basis, breastfeeding is another form on interpersonal bonding as physical contact is important to newborn children for security and comfort.   Along with other tactics, such a baby wearing, the breastfeeding experience is time for you and your child to focus on one another.

Of course there are many more benefits.  For example, the supplies you need to feed your child are always on you.  You won’t spend time in line at the store buying formula and you’ll have one less bag to carry around when transporting your child.  When your child awakens hungry in the night, you won’t be sterilizing a bottle to stick in the microwave.  Another benefit is your own health, breastfeeding helps the mother’s health and healing process along.  It lowers the risk of ovarian and cervical cancers, as well as type 2 diabetes.  In fact, breastfeeding burns calories and gets you back on track to your original weight, before pregnancy.

The benefits of breastfeeding are vast. It’s good for baby and it’s good for you. But perhaps you’ve got some reservations. You’ve heard some stories from people who say that it’s great but that it comes with a few hassles, so you want to know more. You’re saying “give me the full scoop, not just the good stuff”.

Here are some great books on breastfeeding – The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diana West , Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher IBCLC FILCA and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett PhD IBCLC , and The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning by Dr. William Sears.

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