Having a baby is a rewarding experience. Whether to breastfeed your infant or not is one of the most important decisions you will have to make for the health of your baby.
Although breast milk provides a lot of nutrients for your baby, many women choose not to breastfeed. Studies have shown that breastfeeding a baby has a lot of benefits for both you and your infant.
If you are skeptical about breastfeeding or want more information, below is a list of ten breastfeeding benefits.
1. Breast Milk is Easy on the Digestive System
An infant’s digestive system is delicate when they are firstborn. Babies can easily digest breast milk because it is easy to break down.
Nursing mothers do not have to be concerned about their newborn having an upset stomach, constipation, or diarrhea when they breastfeed their baby.
Commercial formulas contain cow’s milk, which can cause an allergic reaction if you have a history of milk allergies in your family. The proteins in a woman’s breast milk are easy to digest because it is more natural than baby formulas.
2. Save Money on Milk
The cost of buying baby formulas can become pricey. The average infant drinks 9,125 ounces of formula during their first year.
When you breastfeed, you don’t have to worry about going back and forth to the store to get milk or buy feeding supplies. Breastfed babies are healthier than formula-fed babies, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money on medicine and doctor visits.
Breastfeeding will allow you to spend money on other things for your baby instead of milk.
3. Lowers the Risk of Obesity
Preventing childhood obesity is one of the proven benefits of breastfeeding. Research has shown that breastfeeding your baby can prevent obesity later in life.
Babies do not overeat when they are breastfeeding because you can recognize the signals of your infant being full. Breast milk contains more leptin than regular milk. Leptin is an important hormone that helps regulate fat storage.
How long you breastfeed your child matters when it comes to preventing childhood obesity. The longer you breastfeed, the more you prevent obesity, which is one of the healthiest benefits of breastfeeding.
4. Strengthens the Bond with Your Baby
A lot of mothers enjoy bonding with their babies through breastfeeding. Formula-fed infants can have a close bond with their parents, but skin to skin contact gives comfort to your baby.
Breastfeeding will help you bond with your infant and increase the emotional connection that you share. It also reassures your newborn that they are safe and secure.
If you want to have a deeper connection with your newborn, breastfeeding will give you the bond that you long for.
5. Helps You Lose Pregnancy Weight
Nursing moms tend to lose weight easier than mothers that don’t breastfeed their baby. Producing milk burns 200-500 calories a day, which makes it easier for your pregnancy weight to come off.
When you breastfeed, you can lose weight slowly and healthily. Losing weight will not affect your supply of milk. You can safely feed your child while losing your pregnancy weight when you are breastfeeding.
6. Breastfeeding Can Make Your Child Smarter
Studies have shown that breastfeeding a baby increases their brain development and IQ. Breastfed infants are known to have high intelligence scores and good behavior.
This is because of the physical touch, eye contact, and intimacy that you have with your baby. Breast milk also has fatty acids that can contribute to long-term brain development.
7. Delays Your Menstrual Cycle
Dealing with your menstrual cycle is not something that women look forward to every month. Breastfeeding your baby will delay ovulation, which will delay your menstrual cycle.
Prolactin is a hormone that is released when you are breastfeeding. It keeps your progesterone and estrogen hormones from triggering menstruation.
Over several months, your prolactin levels will go back down. A lot of nursing mothers can delay their period for six to seven months.
8. Protects Against Infections and Diseases
It can be hard to see your little one sick with an infection. Breastfed infants tend to have fewer illnesses and infections than formula-fed babies.
When you breastfeed, you pass along antibodies that help the immune system fight off potential infections that babies tend to get.
Your infant can avoid getting diarrhea, respiratory infections, and ear infections when you breastfeed.
9. Lower Risk of Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is a major concern for most mothers after they give birth. It can have a negative impact on both you and your baby.
Breastfeeding is known to cause hormonal changes that encourage bonding and maternal caregiving.
If you are concerned about dealing with postpartum depression after birth, breastfeeding is a good option for an emotional balance.
10. Breastfeeding Helps Babies Accept Solid Food
When you breastfeed, you are supposed to eat a variety of healthy foods. Breast milk has different tastes, depending on what type of food you consume. Getting babies to eat solid foods is not always an easy task.
Since the flavor of breast milk changes based on mom’s diet, these little ones will already be more accepting of new flavors when trying solids.
Nursing mothers should be aware of what they eat when breastfeeding because it can affect the way your child digests breast milk.
Your doctor can give you recommendations on what foods to avoid and eat while you are breastfeeding.
The Choice to Breastfeed Your Baby is Up to You
Deciding if you are going to breastfeed is a decision that you have to make carefully. Nursing your baby can take some time out of your day if you have a busy schedule.
Breastfeeding is a great way to bond with your baby and keep them healthy. These benefits of breastfeeding will help you make a wise decision on whether or not to breastfeed.
You and your baby will have a unique way to get to know each other if you decide to nurse your infant.