Is Breastfeeding Important?


Is Breastfeeding the Right thing for Me?

Is Breastfeeding Important?

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.

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How Important is Breastfeeding?

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.

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Giving your Baby the Best Food

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)

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The importance of Colostrum – The “first milk”

    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.
  • It contains lactose for a healthy brain.

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The Mechanics of Breastfeeding

    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!

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How does Breastfeeding Benefit you as a Mother?

  • Your uterus shrinks back to its original size. This does not happen, if you formula feed.
  • Your period will stay away longer after birth if you breastfeed exclusively. Your chances of falling pregnant immediately after birth are also reduced. Read more about your period while breastfeeding.
  • Your body naturally stored some extra fat that was intended to be burnt while breastfeeding. Therefore it is supposed to be easier to lose postpartum pounds if breastfeeding.
  • Diabetic mothers usually need less insulin while breastfeeding.
  • A mother who breastfeeds has lowered risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  • She also has a reduced risk of breast, uterine and cervical cancer. The longer you breastfeed, the more you benefit from this protection.
  • Lowered risk of Osteoporosis.
  • Mothers who breastfeed are at lower risk of postpartum depression.
  • You get to sit down and relax during the times that you breastfeed.
  • You save time and money! No need for formula. No measuring, mixing, heating or cleaning. Your breast milk is always at the right temperature.

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Is Breastfeeding Important?
~
The Bond

    The womanly art of breastfeeding puts this so nicely:

‘weaving an emotional cord to replace the umbilical cord’.

‘bottles 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.

A lactating mother will respond with her whole body when her baby cries.

Skin to skin contact is more likely to occur during breastfeeding than formula feeding. Read about the benefits of skin to skin contact.

You will 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.

You will 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.

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A Natural Gut Healer

Maybe if more people were breastfed, we wouldn't need to use a cow's colostrum to heal us. 

Read more about how breast milk protects your baby's gut! 


References and Recommended Books

Good books to read on the subject

  • The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, by Dr Jack Newman & Teresa Pitman
  • So That's What They're For, by Janet Tamaro

Reference:

The womanly art of breastfeeding, 8th edition, Chapter 1, nesting: is breastfeeding right for me? How important is breastfeeding?

http://www.lalecheleague.org/


Is Breastfeeding Important to you? Leave your comments below...

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