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.
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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