ParentingPortal.org contributor shares what, to her, are the top benefits of breastfeeding for both baby and mommy.
There has been an evolution of opinion over the years of what’s best for the baby.
What’s best for my baby? Breastfeeding or enriched powdered milk formula?
The much-heated debate has presented and weighed the pros and cons of both breastfeeding and formula milk.
Nutritional arguments aside, here’s 5 reasons why I personally prefer to breastfeed:
1. Breastfeeding is more convenient
You don’t need to prepare milk bottles, wash them, dry them, or even sterilise them.
Imagine doing that and, at 3 am in the morning, having to warm cold milk up when it is dark and you aren’t exactly lucid at that time of the night.
With breastfeeding, all you have to do is whip out a boob, hold your baby comfortably, prop yourself up with a support pillow and you’re good to go!
You won’t realise this until you try to prepare milk while your baby is crying his lungs out and the fastest way to satisfy him is to let him latch on.
2. Less things to prepare
How many things do you already have to pack before heading out?
Do you really want to add a milk cooler, bottle warmer, and have to find a place with hot sterile water?
Did you forget that extra bottle in case you dropped one? Did you bring his bibs?!
With breastfeeding, you only need two things before heading out: diaper bag and baby.
3. Breastfeeding is easier on your wallet
In some countries, milk formula costs take up the largest portion of a baby’s expenses. Breastfeeding is free.
It costs zero, absolutely nothing beyond making sure you eat healthy food.
The only thing you need to be prepared to pay for is college, because studies have shown that children who breastfeed have statistically higher IQs.
4. Breastfeeding burns calories
Breastfeeding burns up to 60 calories per 100ml (3.4 ounces).
If you express 1.2 litres (40 ounces), that’s an extra 600 calories a day for doing nothing (sort of)!
Isn’t that awesome?
You get to eat a lot for nourishment, but you’ll still gradually lose most of the pregnancy weight.
5. It keeps the doctor away
Breastfed kids tend to get sick less often than kids who weren’t.
Your body produces antibodies that are made specially for your baby and protects them from disease and helps them recover quicker.
Even if you are sick while breastfeeding, it’s still safe to breastfeed while you’re sick because your baby was already exposed to you even before you had symptoms and your milk will protect him.
Also, breastmilk is more easily digested than other foods so if your two-year-old barfed up everything or refuses to eat healthily, as long as he’s nursing you don’t have to worry about malnutrition or dehydration.