When it comes to newborns we always want to do what is best for them. Every mother has a decision to make. Breast milk or formula? There are many pros and cons to both. Formula is often considered a good choice because it allows the opportunity for someone other than the mother to feed the baby without problems. Formula is also very portable and is available in any quantity that is needed. However, there are many benefits to breastfeeding that formula cannot touch. Here are seven reasons why breast milk is best for your child:
Breastfeeding is Better
– Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding does not ruin your breasts. Though some women can have trouble breastfeeding their child due to physical complications, most mothers can easily breast feed their baby with just a little guidance and practice. Breastfeeding has many benefits for the mother. It has been clinically shown to lower the risk for some cancers such as breast, ovarian and uterine cancers. Breastfeeding also helps your body to lose the baby fat by consuming many calories. Hormones are released into your system while you breastfeed that also activate the elasticity of your uterus, helping it to shrink back to its original size.
Reduce Anxiety in Mothers and Babies
– When it comes right down to it, many mothers experience anxiety about their baby, especially first-born children. It is natural for moms to want to love and protect those babies but not be sure how to do it. By breastfeeding your child you can reduce the anxiety because you know you are actively doing something to keep them healthy, well and happy. The connection you form with your child when breastfeeding can never be replicated or replaced. There is a physical side effect to breastfeeding that causes calming hormones to be produced by the mother and reduces anxiety. Babies are also victims of anxiety. They are tossed out into the world and do not know what to expect. Having their mother physically feed and hold them calms babies down and the action of nursing helps to keep them calm. The same anti-anxiety hormones in the mother get transferred to baby through the milk too, further reducing anxiety.
– Speaking of connections, breastfeedingyour children helps to form strong connections that can last a lifetime. Studies have shown that children who were breastfed for a year or more had better social skills and were more confidentthan their peers. This is due to the strong connection they feel to their mother and the social nature of their interactions. By forming a tight bond as an infant, children feel more confident and are less likely to be afraid of others.
– Babies who are breastfed from the very beginning get a lot of benefits. The first few breastfeeding sessions transfer essential antibodies and immune boosting colostrum, through which babies get their immune response to disease. This transfer allows babies to fight off diseases that the mother has been exposed to and also develop their own immune system. Without this transfer, babies are more likely to get infections like ear infections and increase the use of antibiotics as children, which can cause health problems and hearing problems down the road.
– Another thing that is passed through breast milk is allergies. Mothers who suffer from allergies and exposure to allergensproduce antibodies in their breast milk that can help the baby to create an immune response that reduces their reaction to those allergens later on in life.
- Better Nutrition –Not only are the first few Brest feedingsessential, but continued breastfeeding through at least the first year leads to loweredobesity rates and a healthier child. The nutrition in breast milk is perfectly formulated to sustain babies and should not be supplemented in the first six months of life. Formula is not as good nutritionally because it runs the risk of being watered down or having incompatibleingredients like too much or too little iron.
- More Affordable –Not only is breast milk better for you and for baby, but it is super affordable too. After all, it is free! While formula can set you back over one thousand dollars a year or more, breast milk has no expensesassociated with it. It is the natural way to feed your child.
For working moms breastfeeding seems like it cannot be an option but that is not true. When you are not at home you can still provide your baby with breast milk via a bottle and pump, or you can ask your employer about bringing your baby to work until a certain age. If you can work from home or only work part time during the first few months that would be another way for you to breastfeed your baby.
Breastfeeding is the original way to feed your child and is also the healthiest. While there are some cases where formula is needed, in most cases your best bet to have a healthy child is to breastfeed for at least the first six to twelve months of life. Breast milk is the best form of nutrition for a child and a great way for mothers to connect to their children.
Author Bio: Amanda Carlson, a blogger as well as a former newborn care nurse contributed this post. To stay connected to her previous career and share the knowledge she gained, she began writing for www.newborncare.com.
About Photographer: Luz Roman, co-founder of Remember Me Global Initiatives (RMGI), contributed this photo to The Healthy Dish. She is a stay home mom and freelance grant writer.
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