There are so many benefits to breastfeeding your baby
Have you ever seen a mother in public breastfeeding? Do me a huge favor and walk up to that beautiful mama and thank her for feeding her child! In this day and age all us breastfeeding moms need to stick together.
The benefits of breastfeeding are so great, why would anyone ever think its anything but amazing, right?
Mothers are sometimes so shamed for breastfeeding, whether it be because we are breastfeeding in public, breastfeeding to long into toddler hood or because we are not breastfeeding at all.
I mean, can we catch a break?
Sign up below to get this Baby Milestone Checklist to keep your baby’s development on track.
Why is it that mothers feel so shamed to breastfeed their child in public that we resort to feeding in the bathroom or a fitting room or hidden away somewhere so no one sees us?
As if we are doing some atrocious act! I don’t know about you but I have zero interest in eating in the bathroom!
It amazes me that breastfeeding can be so frowned upon because it is the single best thing you can do for your child. The benefits of breastfeeding are so unbelievable, it could even help save a babies life.
Here is a story for you!
Right after Christmas, my husband and I got so sick with the cold and flu.
My son was only two months old at the time and I was terrified he was going to get it (did you know that the flu can be fatal for baby’s?). Here is an informative article from USA Today explaining how even healthy kids can die from the flu.
I mean I have never been so sick in my life.
But I continued to breastfeed my baby and I was in constant contact with him and he DID NOT get sick! Not even a sniffle.
The power of breastfeeding is amazing, and that truly opened my eyes to how amazing a mothers body can be for her child!
Here Are 17 Benefits Of Breastfeeding
The biggest reason I choose to breastfeed my baby was because I wanted to create a unique bond between us. At the time I didn’t really know the benefits of what I was doing and looking back I am so glad I made the decision to breastfeed.
1. Human milk is easier for your baby to digest
Think of it like this, when you are mixing a bloody mary (my favorite bedtime adult beverage) you are mixing it exactly how you need to, to satisfy your taste buds.
Everyone likes to mix theirs differently to suit their individual desires.
It’s the same concept with breast milk!
Your body gives your baby exactly what they need at the time and is always changing to make sure your baby has the exact nutrients, minerals, fats and anything else they may need when they need it to keep them healthy.
Isn’t this amazing?
2. It protects your baby from illness.
It’s like I said before, it gives each baby a special unique concoction of what they need to stay healthy. Remember the story I told about my son not getting sick when illness rampaged through our home?
I whole heartedly believe it was because he was being breastfed!
There is a common saying “breast is best” and I agree completely! I must add that exclusively pumping or a mixture of both is ok. I know for a lot of mothers its not possible to put baby to breast exclusively, I know I couldn’t!
There are different variations of how we breastfeed and anyway is enough. You are still giving your baby the best option you possibly can!
Are you wondering how breastmilk can be so powerful for your baby? Healthy Children explains this in Breastfeeding benefits your baby’s immune system.
But, basically when you are fighting a cold your body produces antibodies to fight the infection that are then passed to your baby through your breastmilk.
This helps your baby fight the infection or not even get the infection at all (which was my case mentioned above)
If you could help to prevent your baby from getting sick, wouldn’t you?
3. Breastfeeding helps mom loose weight.
I know we all have a couple extra pounds we want to loose after having a baby. I’ve been told to embrace your new motherly figure but sadly, its easier said then done!
It’s said that breastfeeding helps you loose up to 500 extra calories a day if you exclusively breastfeed according to this article, does breastfeeding help you loose weight?
The article states “Research shows that exclusively breastfeeding mothers tend to burn on average 500 additional calories daily- the equivalent of cutting out a small meal, large snack, or performing 45-60 minutes of medium-intensity physical exercise.”
I’m not saying every single person who breastfeeds will loose weight. You have to still eat semi healthy. But by doing this you are likely to see weight loss.
4. It reduces moms risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
According to Cancer.net “This year, an estimated 268,600 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and 62,930 women will be diagnosed with in situ breast cancer.”
According to the article Ovarian Cancer: Facts, Statics, and You, “about 21,000 U.S. people get diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year, and about 14,000 die from it.”
Cancer is such a scary thing to think about, especially after having kids.
According to mdanderson.org “In a study by the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer, researchers found that every 12 months a woman breastfed, her risk of breast cancer decreases by 4.3%”.
“Furthermore, Australian researchers found that women who breastfed for more than 13 months were 63% less likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who breastfed for less then seven months. Women who breastfed multiple children for more than 31 months could reduce their ovarian cancer risk by up to 91% compared to women who breastfed for less than 10 months”.
I mean, I’m sold!
5. Limits your menstrual cycle
When you are breastfeeding your body produces high levels of prolactin which is a hormone that also stops your menstrual cycle.
If you decide to stop breastfeeding then you will likely start your period again.
What a great perk to keep you motivated to breastfeed, isn’t it?
Here is a more informative article on why women get irregular periods while breastfeeding.
6. Gives baby all their nutrients
Not only does breastmilk give your baby antibodies as mentioned in #2 it also give your baby all the nutrients they need. The best part being you don’t have to consume a super healthy diet (although that’s a bonus). It is important that you don’t only eat sugary, unhealthy foods.
7. Higher IQ
According to BBC News and a study done in Brazil there was a link between breastfeeding and intelligence. The longer a baby was breastfed the higher they scored on IQ tests.
I’m not saying your baby will only be smart if they are breastfed but it will defiantly help.
8. Helps your uterus contract
After you have a baby your stretched out uterus has to shrienk back down to its normal size.
Have you ever noticed when you were breastfeeding your baby for the first couple weeks after birth you felt what seemed like contractions?
That is your uterus trying to shrink back to its proper size and breastfeeding is helping the process along.
Pretty cool, right?
9. Lowers your risk of depression
Postpartum is something nearly 10-15% of woman experience according to an article published by Postpartumprogress.com.
Yet, its something so few talk about. Do you know someone who suffers from postpartum depression?
With the power of breastfeeding, PPD is lowered by half!
Half, what a huge impact breastfeeding can have on a woman!
10. Saves you time and money
Breastfeeding your baby takes up a ton of your time espically the couple weeks after their birth.
Ever heard of cluster feeding?
Basically, its when your baby eats often, like every half hour (times vary for everyone) for an extended period of time.
Are you wondering how breastfeeding your baby helps you save time and money?
11. Saves you money on formula
Have you ever looked at the price of formula? Price varies depending on the retailer but at Kroger a roughly 12 oz can of Enfamil and Similac formula is about $20 a can.
It’s expensive! I guess when you think of how many meals your baby will get out of it the cost doesn’t seem that bad, but think of the money you would save in the long run by breastfeeding.
12. No more tampons
As mentioned above, for most women breastfeeding reduces their menstrual cycle which will save you money on feminine hygiene products like tampons.
13. Free breast pump
Did you know most insurances will give you a free breast pump? Contact your insurance company and they will help you get one for free.
I totally wish I knew this before I had my son, I ended up using my own money when I could have gotten one for free.
14. Less cleanup
As far as time goes, well there will be less bottles to clean and less prep time as you won’t need to get their bottles ready every time.
15. Less calming time
You will spend less time calming your baby because breastfeeding does that for you. In this article by Kellymom on Breastfeeding to sleep and other comfort nursing states;
“Sucking releases the hormone cholecystokinin in both mother and baby, which results in a sleepy feeling. In addition, breastmilk also contains sleep-inducing hormones, amino acids and nucleotides”.
16. Lowers baby’s risk of SIDS
Since my son was born SIDS has been my #1 biggest fear EVER!
SIDS is defined as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Every year 2000 babies will die from SIDS but I think the scariest part of it is that no one knows what causes it.
If you don’t know what causes something how can you fix it, right?
But what if you could lower your baby’s risk of getting SIDS?
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS by 60 PERCENT according to this article Breastfeeding may cut SIDS risk.
No matter how much breastmilk they got, their chances of getting this were lowered drastically. If they were breastfed for a year, 6 months or 6 days their risk is greatly reduced.
17. Creates a unique bond
Have you gone through your entire pregnancy hoping and praying that you and your baby will have a unique and special bond?
Breastfeeding will give you that!
According to this article breastfeeding and bonding a special bond is created primarily because of skin to skin contact between mother and baby. Skin to skin contact increases the levels of oxytocin in mom and baby, which increases positive hormonal interactions.
Concluding the benefits of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is such an miraculous thing and I hope you will continue to preach what the good lord gave you, so other mothers can see the benefits of breastfeeding!
Do you have an interesting story or fun fact about the benefits of breastfeeding? Let us know in the comments!
Quick tidbit.. Did you know that breastfeeding helps shrink your uterus to its normal size after birth? That’s why you sometimes feel like your having contractions when breastfeeding for a couple weeks after delivery.
More articles related to baby
- Tips To Survive The Newborn Phase
- Strong baby Boy Names
- Unique Baby Girl Names
- How To Get Your Baby Sleeping Through The Night