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How Breastfeeding Benefits You And Your Baby

Before you start your baby on formula, read this, breastfeeding benefits both you and your baby.

You are finally holding your precious little baby in your arms after a long 40 weeks of pregnancy. You just want to admire their precious little features but they are hungry. Often mothers have to overcome struggles; maybe you think you aren’t producing enough milk or perhaps your baby won’t attach to your breast properly. Breastfeeding doesn’t have to end there and here is why.

how breastfeeding benefits you and your baby

 

Breastfeeding benefits for mum

The benefits of breastfeeding extend further than just ‘breast is best’. Yes it is amazing for your baby but it is also beneficial for you, the mother. These benefits include:

  • Weight loss – Producing milk for breastfeeding burns extra calories which result in pregnancy weight being lost faster. Like that isn’t reason enough!
  • Emotional health – Breastfeeding encourages bonding and a stronger sense of connection between mother and baby. This results in reducing stress levels and the risk of postpartum depression.
  • Lowers risk of cancers – Breastfeeding has shown to lower the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer.
  • Delayed menstruation – Women who breastfeed will find that as a result of feeding, their periods will be delayed. This is because the production of oestrogen and progesterone hormones are lessened by prolactin. As a result of the low level of fertility hormones breastfeeding mothers produce, it prevents ovulation and menstruation while breastfeeding.
  • Feeling empowered – Having the knowledge and being able to watch you baby thrive and grow on breastmilk alone, will leave you feeling empowered. This is a wonderful way for a new mother to feel!

 

Breastfeeding benefits for baby

We know it is best for babies to have breast milk over formula but often we don’t know exactly why. The benefits of breastfeeding your baby is a list that goes on forever but the main ones you can identify with include:

  • Breastmilk is sterile – This means there is nothing to clean, sanitise or be concerned about when feeding your baby. It is pure, sterile and perfect for your baby exactly how it is.
  • More resistant to disease and infections – Antibodies are passed from the mother through breastfeeding to the baby, which strengthens their immune system.
  • Formulated to suit your baby – Breastmilk has all the nutrients required in perfect dosages to suit your baby and their needs. With thousands of different ingredients, such as proteins, fats, lactose, vitamins, iron, minerals, enzymes, probiotics and stem cells. Breast milk is completely unique.
  • First immunisation –Many of the proteins in breast milk are designed to kill bacteria and pathogens, while others act as immune barriers. Breast milk is technically your baby’s first immunisation.
  • Gentle on tummies – As a result of it being tailored to perfectly meet the needs of your growing child. It is gentle on tummies and easy to digest thanks to the enzymes already packaged within it.
  • Bonding and closeness – While this also benefits the mother, it has beneficial physical effects the baby. It calms the heart rate, increases oxygen levels and regulates breathing in addition to reducing crying.

 

Other breastfeeding benefits

It is great that breastfeeding benefits both mum and baby but the positive results don’t end there.

  • Good for environment – There is no need to recycle tins, clean bottles, sterilise teats, etc.
  • It is 100% natural.
  • Convenient – You don’t need to prepare bottles prior to leaving the house in case your baby gets hungry. You have the convenience of it being ‘on tap’.
  • Eases finances – It is FREE! Because it costs nothing, it eases the financial burden of purchasing formula.

 

Breastfeeding benefits come in many different forms but just because it is natural, does not mean it is always easy. If you are struggling and want to breastfeed, ask for help or visit Australian Breastfeeding Association online for more information. While breastfeeding is best for your baby, it is sometimes not what is best for the mother or family. This is perfectly OK as well; your baby is being fed, loved and looked after. Parents of formula fed babies should not feel inadequate or guilty by their decision.

Did you find breastfeeding easy and natural? Did you struggle? Was it simply not for you?

Share your tips below to help other mums on this journey?

 


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11 Comments

  1. Lydia Rofe
    15/06/2015 / 1:03 pm

    The things I would say from my experience are;
    If you have a big baby and don’t want to formula feed but your Dr says you won’t have enough milk follow your instincts- we were fine, use the ABA to support you the helpline volunteers are amazing.
    Breastfeeding hurt me for 8 weeks but I am SO pleased I hung in there. My life savers were a supportive husband, nipple sheilds, lansinoh and hydrogel breast pads (all of these I wish I had before I went into hospital).
    If you end up formula feeding you are still an amazing mum, so many girls in my mums group struggled with breastfeeding and went to formula, this doesn’t make them a bad mum or their babies weaker they gave it their best and they should be respected and respect themselves for that.

  2. Dannielle
    15/06/2015 / 8:51 pm

    I breastfed my two babies until they were 7 months. I really wanted to feed my baby girl until she was 12 months, but due to medical problems, I was lucky to have made it that far, Medela played a big part in getting me to the 7 month mark with expressing!
    I’d love to pass on this Medela voucher to my sister-in-law who is currently pregnant so that she can get the right balance and freedom with breastfeeding and expressing like I had. I felt it was really important to get the balance and of course….. the all important sleep! Having expressed milk in the fridge or freezer was a godsend for those times I needed to sleep!
    One tip I would give is don’t give up straight away on breastfeeding, persevere if you can – it’s worth it! But it’s also not worth losing your mind over. Do whatever is right for you and your baby!

  3. 16/06/2015 / 10:34 am

    I have 7 children and for the first time with bubba #7 I have been able to breastfeed without any dramas, in the past I have had mastitis, thrush and abacuses and have had to end my breastfeeding journey earlier than I would of liked! This time things are looking positive and I love it! (apart from the random 2am feeds lol)

  4. karina l
    16/06/2015 / 12:01 pm

    Patience. and lots of it. When the milk ain’t flowing and the baby ain’t sucking, keep going and don’t give up. It will eventually happen. If not, formula is just as good and it means daddy can help out too =)

  5. Hannah Jewell
    25/06/2015 / 2:34 pm

    The Australian Breastfeeding Association’s local mum to mum meetings were a huge help to me not only with feeding my baby but providing support with parenting. It might be scary to go to a meeting if it’s your first time but the friendship and support is so worth it!

  6. 26/06/2015 / 10:14 am

    Practice makes perfect. Like anything the more you stress about it the harder it becomes. With Baby#1 we encountered all sorts of obstacles Mastitis, slow milk production (first couple of weeks) and a baby who got used to having a bottle when he was in the hospital. But after coming out we managed to exclusive breastfeed for 2 years and it was actually harder to get him to stop than it was to start. No dramas with Baby #2 coz now we’re old hands (or boobs) at it.

  7. connie
    29/06/2015 / 7:24 am

    I was a first time mum to a sick poorly premmie who didnt take to a breast till she was 3 months old and then it was months til she was fully breastfed even once she was home i had to partly express with a medela swing OMG what a hassle it was worth it in the end I didnt have to muck about with bottles and it gave her a great start i cant recomend the services of a good lactation consultant enough!

  8. sam
    29/06/2015 / 5:26 pm

    Persistent pays off! After struggling with bad latch and tongue tie, i was ready to throw it all in! But i pushed for an answer, we had the tongue tie snipped and we’re still going strong 7 months later!

  9. Maria Stringer
    05/07/2015 / 3:26 pm

    I struggled with my first baby, he had complications and I had complications, I really didn’t want to go to a bottle but when I made the decision at 6 weeks it was the best decision! My second baby fed beautifully! So I saw both sides and both sides are winners!

  10. Rebekah Ballingall
    05/07/2015 / 7:28 pm

    I had to formula feed. Don’t let people tell you or judge you because you can’t breastfeed. Some people aren’t made to produce milk.

  11. Michelle
    06/07/2015 / 8:45 pm

    I always made sure I had a big bottle of water next to me before I started the feed.

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