The much-anticipated moment is here — after many months of pregnancy, you have finally given birth to a beautiful baby! Now comes the fun part — getting to know and bond with your new baby. This happy time also comes with decisions to make — number one on the list being whether to breastfeed or use formula.
While there are situations where bottle feeding is preferable, or even necessary, breastfeeding is top choice among many medical professionals and new mothers. Why is that, and why is it that you should consider breastfeeding your newborn baby? Let’s look at the benefits of breastfeeding, for both baby and mommy, and why it is the number one choice among many mothers.
1. Protects Your Baby
One of the premier benefits of breastfeeding is the protection it offers your baby. Studies have shown irrefutable evidence that babies who breastfeed are less likely to develop stomach viruses, lower respiratory illnesses, ear infections, and meningitis. This is due to a substance called secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) that is present in the breast milk that the mother produces within the first few months of giving birth. This substance forms a protective layer on the mucous membranes in your baby’s intestines, nose, and throat, which serves as a safeguard against germs.
2. Strengthens Your Bones
While feeding your baby, you are also feeding and strengthening your bones. In the beginning of the lactation process, it is normal to lose some bone density due to low estrogen levels. Yet, what many don’t realize is that, within two years postpartum, a breastfeeding mother completely regains her bone health. Studies have even shown that the longer a mother breastfeeds, the stronger her bones will become.
3. Decreases Healing Time
As you nurse, your body secretes a hormone called oxytocin, This hormone helps the smooth muscle of your uterus to contract, which helps to reduce post-delivery blood loss. As an added bonus, this process helps your uterus return to its normal size more quickly.
4. Promotes Bonding
That same hormone, oxytocin, is believed to be responsible for an increased feeling of attachment and love between mother and child. Studies show the hormone promotes a sense of relaxation and closeness in both mother and baby during this crucial time.
5. Lowers Risk of Future Diseases
6. Provides An Ideal Balance of Nutrients
Do you want to make sure that your baby is getting the vitamins and minerals that he needs? Breast milk amply meets this need. Your breast milk provides the perfect balance of vitamins, proteins, and fat, all in an easy-to-digest form.
The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous and incontestable. Hopefully if you are in a position to breastfeed, you will seriously consider it.