Updated: Jul 22
If you've been following my blogs I'm sure that you've read about me choosing to breastfeed. It's worked out wonderfully for me. But I have to say this. If you have to formula feed or choose to formula feed, then by all means do so. What's important is that your baby is being fed what he or she needs and all parents have to do what's best for them. Never let anyone make you feel bad for choosing a method that works for you! I feel that sometimes mothers can be made to feel that they are less than or not good mothers because they choose not to breastfeed, but hear it from me, you are a wonderful mother whether you breastfeed, formula feed, or both! Now let's move forward.
Why do I feel that breastfeeding is awesome? Let me give you six reasons.
It's free! Purchasing formula can be pretty expensive. The last time I saw, it was about 20 plus dollars a container. There are programs in place such as WIC that if you are approved, you will have help getting this formula and other things for your baby, which is a huge help. But if you're able to breastfeed this is one less thing you will have to worry about.
It's great nutrition for your baby. Breastmilk contains everything your baby needs for the first six months of life. One amazing thing about breastmilk is it changes according to what your baby needs, mainly during your baby's first month. I think that's pretty neat!
Breastmilk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off bacteria and viruses. As a mom we want to protect our babies from things such as these and breastfeeding is definitely the way to do it. Breastfeeding helps boost your baby's immune system through these antibodies, which are known as immunoglobulins.
Breastmilk can help reduce the risk of certain infections. Ear infections, respiratory infections, and even certain kinds of gut infections can be reduced by choosing to breastfeed. Again, breastmilk boosts the immune system which is the body's line of defense in preventing and fighting infections.
Breastfeeding can help your uterus contract, returning to it's pre-pregnancy size. When you breastfeed your body produces oxytocin into your bloodstream. When this happens your uterus starts to contract, which causes it to start shrinking or going back to it's before pregnancy state. It also helps with the bleeding you have, reducing it. It usually takes your uterus about six weeks to return to normal if you breastfeed and about ten weeks if you decide not to.
Last but not least, Number 6.
Breastfeeding (successfully) can help reduce the risk of postpartum depression. Postpartum depression can develop within one year of giving birth. Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of this. Remember that hormone above that I spoke of, oxytocin? This is known as the love or cuddle drug, which increases the want to bond and connect with your baby. Which is one way postpartum depression is reduced. Now I'm in no way saying that if you breastfeed you can't develop postpartum depression, nor am I saying that if you don't breastfeed you won't bond with your baby. Research suggests that the chances of developing postpartum depression is cut in half if you do breastfeed. I'm sure you are wondering why I put successfully in parenthesis above? The reason is that mothers who planned to breastfeed, but are unable to, were at the highest risk for developing postpartum depression (according to studies). So that is something to also keep in mind.
So there you have it. My six awesome reasons that I like breastfeeding.
My next blog will touch on the cons or challenges that can come with breastfeeding so be sure to stay tuned! My breastfeeding moms, what are your reasons for choosing this method? I would love to heat from you?
Until next time I'm sending your peace, love, and light.
Certified Health Coach (Pregnancy and Postpartum Support)
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