There is a lot of information out there about breastfeeding. Some of it very contradicting. I am a strong believer that being over-informed is not beneficial. Each baby has different needs and each Health Visitor/Midwife/Doctor will give you different advice.
I think we need to follow our instinct and learn the specific needs of our own child. I am a little bit worried about breastfeeding. While I am really looking forward to having this special time with my little chicken, there is a fear in my mind in case I can’t cope.
Leaving my worries to one side, I would like to make a list of the 5 reasons I want to breastfeed my child.
Breastfeeding Is Natural
We are mammals, and all mammals in the animal kingdom nurse their babies. Some mothers are unable to breastfeed, either due to health issues or social restrictions. Luckily for us when this is the case we can formula-feed.
It Is Healing
Breastfeeding has healing effects for both mummy and baby. If the birth process has been traumatic, breastfeeding can help prevent Post Natal Depression. Having access to help and a support system is also very important when dealing with PND, I am not implying that nursing your child is the solution to this. But it has been proven that breastfeeding has beneficial effects on the mother’s mental health. You can read more about this on the following article from La Leche League.
It has also been observed that breastfeeding will help the mother’s body recover quicker. Her uterus will shrink faster, helping her body get back to pre-pregnancy shape. Some studies link breastfeeding to reducing the risk of certain cancers like breast cancer.
It Is Bonding
You have probably heard of the ‘fourth trimester’. This refers to the first 3 months of your baby’s life out of the womb. During this time our babies are highly dependent and need to be in constant contact with their mothers. Breastfeeding is a time of close physical contact and will help create a bond between mother and child. This bonding time will help your baby’s confidence and give them the tools they need to discover the outside world.
It Is Nutritious
Breast milk is naturally packed with all the nutrients your baby needs for a healthy development. Babies that a breastfed tend to have less infections than formula-fed ones. This is because the mother will pass antibodies naturally when nursing that will give their baby a stronger immune system.
It Is Free
This statement is only partially correct, but it is still an important point for me. Formula can be quite costly, depending on brands. Where breast milk does not have a cost per se, some mothers will choose to pump. If this is the case there will be a cost for bottles and breast pumps to consider. In some cases breasts can leak and we might need to buy breast pads as well.
I have bought re-usable breast pads just in case. I haven’t bought any bottles or pumps yet as I want to start breastfeeding first and then buy things as I need them.
A Fed Baby Is A Happy Baby
At the end of the day the important thing is to have a happily fed baby. It does not matter if you decide to breastfeed or formula-feed. As long as they are receiving the food they need in order to grow healthy.
I, personally, want to exclusively breastfeed. I do not plan to pump initially but introduce it at a later time. And only because I think my husband would enjoy being able to feed our baby and have some nurturing time with him.
I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences on the subject. If you have enjoyed reading this post check out our World Breastfeeding Week post for some more amazing facts,