When you start getting ready for your baby’s arrival, we call this “nesting". You buy a few baby outfits and a crib; you are making a special space at home for your new-born.
Your body is also preparing a nest for your baby – your breasts. Your breasts will provide warmth, safety, security, affection and nutrition. Breastfeeding your baby is not just about his/her nutritional needs.
So, whether or not you want to breastfeed your baby, breastfeeding is definitely the right thing for him/her.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Give the gift that keeps on giving"? Well, if you decide to breastfeed your baby, breastfeeding will not only benefits him/her now, but will make a profound difference emotionally and physically for the rest of your child’s life.
Formula does not come close to the amazing liquid gold that your body produces. Human breast milk contains all the vitamins, mineral and living material that your baby needs. Yes, breast milk is alive and formula is dead. Read more about the composition of breast milk compared to formula. Your breast milk changes from meal to meal, day to day and year to year as your little one’s requirements change. Formula just stays the same.
The living components of breast milk stop the growth of viruses and bacteria, not just that, but breast milk contains powerful anti-infectives. So, powerful in fact that breast milk has been used to heal leg ulcers and is used to help treat cancer patients. Read more about the uses of breast milk here.
Without the food that your baby was intended to receive, he/she is at much higher risk of many issues such as ear infections, gut problems, breathing issues, allergic reactions and many more.
Breast milk is digested much easier than formula and therefore a baby on formula has a higher risk of constipation, acid reflux and colic symptoms. The formula-fed baby has a lot of waste to process and this can put strain on still-maturing kidneys.
Man-made Iron fortification is added to formula, but is not easily used by a baby’s body. This form of Iron often causes anemia and intestinal bleeding.
Formula fed babies are at higher risk of:
(these risks are for later years of their lives too)
Colostrum is the clear fluid that is produced during the first few days after baby’s birth before your mature milk “comes in". Your baby only needs small amounts of this. Colostrum contains high doses of immunological properties. This provides protection from all foreign substances from invading your baby’s gut walls.
More benefits of colostrum and “mature milk"
Laxative effect will help remove meconium (black tar like poop) and keep bilirubin (causing Jaundice) levels under control.
Breast milk contains human growth factor that continues to develop organs.
Breast milk contains insulin for digestion.
It contains long-chain fatty acids for a healthy heart.
During breastfeeding a baby’s muscles are exercised, which results in better jaw development. Babies who comfort feed on the breast, instead of using a pacifier, experience less speech issues later on.
If your baby breastfeeds more, your breast will produce more milk and in this way your body produces just the right amount needed for your baby.
When your baby comes into contact with germs, it is communicated with your breasts when your baby breastfeeds, and then immediately your body starts to produce milk, full of specific specialized antibodies to fight that specific germ!
art of breastfeeding puts this so nicely:
emotional cord to replace the umbilical cord’.
fill his stomach, but breastfeeding fills his soul’
There is a flood
of hormones in a mother’s body every time she breastfeeds her baby. These
hormones (Oxytocin and Prolactin) are especially designed to make you feel good
and they also make you feel devoted and nurturing towards your baby. When
mothers formula feed, they have less of a connection and therefore interact and
touch their babies less than those mothers who breastfeed. Read more about the importance
of touch here.
mother will respond with her whole body when her baby cries.
eventually be your baby’s source of comfort and food. You will get to know
him/her better than anyone else, because you provide something nobody else can.
now have a very useful, sneaky tool that will help you calm your baby when
he/she is hungry, tired, fearful or in pain. Your Boo Boos will fix it all. And
you will wonder how difficult things would have been without them.