Most people agree with the phrase -breast is best’ but few actually know of the numerous benefits of breastfeeding.
In addition to the many health benefits, the other benefits of breastfeeding include:
- Strengthening the bond between mother and child. During nursing, an infant grows accustomed to its mom’s scent and feel.
- Milk is served at the perfect temperature at all times. There is no need to cool or warm baby’s bottle.
- Unlike formula, breast milk does not need to be measured out which means that the risk of over feeding or under feeding the infant is eliminated.
- Food is readily available, no preparation necessary.
- The late night feeds are performed far easier than with bottle feeding – no bottles to prepare.
- No added costs. Breast milk is supplied free of charge and there is no need to buy bottles, formula or sterilising equipment.
When it comes to the health benefits, the dozens of health benefits which are provided by breast milk, it is easy to understand why the phrase -breast is best!’ was coined.
- Breast milk serves one single purpose and that is to feed a baby and as such, the milk is packed with all the nutrients, minerals and vitamins to ensure growth and development.
- The milk is easy to digest and this means less wind.
- Allergies like asthma and eczema are a lot less common in babies or children who have been breastfed.
- Rich in natural antibodies, the milk is a defence against common infections and the antibodies will give baby’s under-developed immune system, a powerful boost.
- The suckling action is far stronger in a breastfed baby than a bottle fed baby, hence breastfeeding encourages good jaw and teeth development.
- The proteins and fats which are found only in mother’s milk enhance brain development.
- Bottle fed babies are prone to thrush and nappy rash mainly due to the bottle teats not being correctly sterilised, breastfeeding moms do not have this concern.
- Studies have shown breastfeeding (even for a period of six months) can offer good, long term benefits, such as the reduced risk of heart disease in adulthood, and obesity.
- Moms who breast feed burn more fat – this helps them to get back their pre-pregnancy figures and shed those -baby’ kilos.
New mothers are frequently told tales of why it is better not to breastfeed, these tales may include:
- A lot of mothers don’t produce enough milk for their babies. This is untrue. Nursing moms actually produce more than enough milk to feed more than one baby.
- Today’s scientifically developed formulas are just as good as breast milk. Wrong. Breast milk is the only -perfect’ milk for baby which is served in the correct proportions and which contains all the necessary nutrients.
At the end of the day, it is the mother’s choice and when the time comes to make the decision to breastfeed or not to – it is important for the first-time mom to be aware of the facts and carefully weigh up the pros and cons of both options.