Advantages Of Breastfeeding
It’s good to know the advantages of breastfeeding before you make a decision as to whether or not you are going to give it a go. Many women find they have a negative view of breastfeeding, but this can be due to hearing horror stories, or myths that have been passed down about breastfeeding.
Actually, the advantages of breastfeeding far outweigh any difficulties that may be encountered along the way. So what are some of the myths or problems that cause women to dismiss the idea of breastfeeding their babies?
1. Some women feel that formula is the same and just as beneficial as breast milk – Breast milk is far superior to formula, it is a live product that contains antibodies, cells, enzymes and hormones that protect your baby. Formula does not contain these things.
2. Women worry that breastfeeding will make their breasts saggy - Having a baby alters the appearance of your whole body, but so does age and the putting on and losing of weight. Exercising regularly and trying to stay toned can help stay on top of body changes that come to everyone over time.
3. Many women (often the ones who don’t breastfeed) feel that some just aren’t able to breastfeed or their babies just won’t feed - This is definitely a myth. Sometimes circumstances make breastfeeding harder and the stress that results can get in the way if things going smoothly, causing the mother to give up and think that she is not able to, or her baby doesn’t want it. The fact is, almost every mother is capable of producing the milk her baby needs, and every baby needs its mother’s milk. But breastfeeding is not something that always comes easily and it has to be learnt by both mother and baby. It is hard work at first, and requires a positive, calm attitude and determination. But it is achievable for every mother who is determined enough.
4. Many feel that people get offended by women breastfeeding in public - As a mother who’s been there, I can understand the feeling of needing to feed your baby while you are out, but worrying that people won’t like it. I’ve never found it to be a problem, as long as you are discreet and use a blanket or cloth to cover yourself as much as possible. In fact, surveys suggest that most people don’t mind women feeding in public at all. The more women who do it, the more the public will get used to it.
5. Some women tell themselves that breastfeeding is not very popular and most women don’t do it - This is not true. About 78% of women in England start breastfeeding.
So we’ve dealt with some of the negative things that women associate with breastfeeding, but the important thing is to understand the advantages of breastfeeding, so what are they?
Advantages Of Breastfeeding
Women’s bodies are designed for having babies and nursing them. When you delve into the way a baby grows inside its mother’s body, the way nutrients are passed from mother to baby via the placenta and umbilical cord, it is such an incredible thing. Really it is a miracle. And when baby is born a mother’s body produces the food the baby needs to keep it healthy and help it to grow strong, a powerful testimony to intelligent design for sure, but not just that. This all indicates that breast milk is the best thing you can give your little one.
Let’s have a look at some of the advantages of breastfeeding:
1. Breastfeeding has significant health benefits for your baby - Less chance of diarrhoea and vomiting, chest and ear infections, constipation, becoming obese and developing diabetes and less chance of developing eczema.
2. Breastfeeding has significant benefits for you too - Puts you at lower risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer, burns up to 500 calories a day, saves money you would spend on formula and feeding equipment and helps to build a strong bond between you and your baby.
3. Breast milk is the only natural food designed specifically for your baby - Most people want the very best for their children, so why hold back this special product your baby needs?
4. Breast milk is free and ‘on tap’ - You don’t have to pay for it, it is available wherever you are, and it doesn’t take any preparation or equipment to ready it for baby.
5. Breast milk is the perfect temperature for your baby - None of this heating it up, testing it then trying to cool it down a bit, it is always just right for baby.
6. Breastfeeding helps protect your baby from infections and diseases - Formula does not contain the live antibodies and other matter that can achieve this.
7. A breastfeeding mother develops a wonderful physical and emotional bond with her baby - Feeding your baby is something that only you can do, no wonder it makes you feel special.
8. Breastfeeding is an achievement - We all feel good when we achieve something that has taken effort and determination. Breastfeeding is no exception as it is not always straightforward. But you can feel very pleased with yourself when you manage it, knowing that what you have achieved is benefiting you and your baby.
As a mother of two, I can speak from experience about the advantages of breastfeeding. I can tell you that breastfeeding was tricky at first, especially with my first baby, but it was really worth the effort.
I am so happy that I stuck with breastfeeding, and I would really recommend that any expectant mother give it their best shot.
If you can try to approach it in a calm and relaxed way, try not to get too worried or anxious about it and also be determined to push past those difficult first few weeks, I guarantee you won’t regret it.
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