Breastfeeding Benefits

Nursing in a Cuddly Wrap

There are many benefits of breastfeeding, which is why there has been a great increase in the number of breastfeeding moms in recent years. Check out some these breastfeeding benefits to mom and baby:

Breastfeeding, like babywearing, provides a great bonding experience between mom and baby. Because mom is the only one able to feed the baby for at least the first few weeks of life they have more time to bond. The baby’s eyes can only focus about 8-10 inches away, which just happens to be how far from mom’s face they are when breastfeeding. The eye contact, skin to skin contact, and early interaction provide a wonderful bonding experience. Fortunately, whether your breastfeeding or not, this bonding can be achieved to a large degree by using a baby wrap, or sling (great news for Dads!).

The colostrum or “first milk” for the baby is very important for health and immune development. Colostrum is produced in the first few days after giving birth and is more condensed than regular breast milk. The baby gets a lot of nutrients, vitamins and benefits of your immune system in colostrum. In fact, colostrum is so good for health, it is now available to adults in pill form in some health food stores.

Breastfeeding is better overall for the health of mommy and baby. The baby continues to get nutrients and vitamins that mom takes in everyday, and is able to work up immunities to allergies through mom’s milk. As for mom, her body will go back to normal faster after childbirth by simply breastfeeding. It is a natural process that that helps mom and baby ease into natural health and well being.

In the mother, the uterus goes back to normal faster, shrinking back to its pre-pregnancy size. Because it happens faster there will be some mild cramping, usually felt during nursing sessions.

Many moms lose baby weight faster when they breastfeed. You will burn more calories everyday to keep up with the baby’s diet. You are feeding someone else and maintaining your own body systems so this means the extra calories you burn will help you lose the weight you gained during pregnancy faster than if you were bottle feeding.

Babies often thrive when fed breastmilk. Formula has synthetic vitamins and minerals, made in labs, and they aren’t as healthy as the ones that come from mom. Nothing can replace breast milk, it is naturally one of the most healthy things we can ingest.

Babies also use breastmilk to develop an immune system in early weeks. During the first few months and weeks of baby’s life he or she has no immune system of their own. By breastfeeding they are still using mom’s until they are able to build one of their own. This means less colds, less infections and overall a healthier beginning to life.

Breastfeeding has also been linked to a lower incidence of SIDS. Although scientists aren’t quite sure why, but the numbers show breastfeeding may very well offer protection against this mysterious phenomena.

The saying “breast is best” is still alive after all this time. If you have to formula feed, don’t feel guilty, but if you can breastfeed, even some, it will be completely worthwhile for you and your baby.