Breastfed is best fed.
You probably heard that quote before and while formula is a great food source for baby there is just no better food than breastmilk.
When you are breastfeeding you always have the food with you at the perfect temperature.
But what exactly are the advantages of breastfeeding?
What makes Breastmilk so valuable?
But all of this doesn’t mean bottle feeding is bad – as long as a baby is well fed it doesn’t matter if breastmilk or formula.
If you do have a choice though I would really consider giving breastfeeding a try.
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1. Tailored to your baby
The Breastmilk you are producing is always made exactly to your baby’s needs.
It constantly changes just like you baby’s needs change.
Just think about the very first milk coming in – the colostrum.
It is thick and more yellow than normal milk and the perfect first food for your baby before the actual milk comes in.
Breastmilk contains at least 100 ingredients that can not be found in cow milk and can not be copied in a lab.
Your milk in the morning is different from your milk in the afternoon, might change color and can taste different depending on what you are eating.
And when you or the baby are sick it even contains valuable antibodies and is the easiest to digest.
2. Always safe to eat
The milk coming from you can never be spoiled, is always at the perfect temperature and you don’t have to fear to run out of milk out and about.
Breastmilk contains the ultimate nutrition for your baby so your baby is not lacking any important stuff.
3. Breastmilk is a magic potion
Yes, I am serious.
Breastmilk can do much more than just feeding your baby.
Of course feeding should always be the first priority but besides that you can use it in your baby’s bathwater to clear skin irritations, drop some in their nose when it is stuffed or even use it as “diaper lotion” for diaper rashes.
I personally did all of that including using breastmilk in my baby’s eye for a infection (after being told to do so by the pediatrician) and can’t even tell you how crazy fast and good it works!
I know other moms that sucessfully got rid of cradle cap thanks to using breastmilk on the baby head too.
4. Healthy weight
Eating out of a bottle is a lot easier then sucking the milk out of the breast.
Bottle fed babies do get overfed a lot easier because they don’t realize they are full until they are already overfed.
Breastfeeding babies just suck away and stop once their little tummy is filled up and they are content and happy.
The breastmilk also kind of works like a appetite control.
While the Foremilk (the milk that comes first) acts like a thirst quencher – the hindmilk that comes after is more filling and tells your baby it’s almost time to stop eating.
According to WebMd kids that were breastfed as babies are 34% less likely to become overweight later on.
Simply because breastfeeding teaches your baby a healthy feeding habit right from the beginning.
5. Bonding with your baby
Breatsfeeding is a truly special way of bonding with your baby.
It is not only feeding but also skin on skin contact, eye to eye contact and helping their intellectual development.
Sucking on the breast satisfies a deep need of comforting and your baby can keep comfort sucking on a empty breast without problem which is hard to do on a empty bottle.
Parents that are bottle feeding can absolutely bond too by keeping their baby close during feedings.
6. Easier to digest
Overall breastmilk is in general a lot easier to digest than formula simply because it is literally made for your baby specificially.
It stays down easier with less spitting up and babies that are eating breastmilk usually have less tummy problems too.
Rarely any breastfed baby gets diarrhea (unless they are sick of course) and it works kinda like the probiotic yoghurts for adults – keeping bad bacteria in check and encouraging the good bacteria to grow in they digestive system.
Plus breastfed baby poop doesn’t stink.
For me the baby poop always smelled more like sore milk than the actual poop smell.
7. Less infections and a stronger immune system
Breastmilk contains antibodies that boost their brand new immune system.
Breastfed babies are said to have less infections, colds and lower respiratory tract infections.
And when they do get sick they usually get better a lot faster than formula fed babies and have fewer complications.
It is also said to help against the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Thinking back to when my baby was small until now – two years later – she was barely ever sick besides a small cold.
8. Higher IQ
Yes – Breastfed babies are having a slightly higher IQ than babies that are not breastfed.
A long-therm study linked breastfeeding to higher intelligence.
This could be related to the fatty acids (DHA) in Breast milk – it’s basically brain food.
9. Oral development
Sucking on the breast gives your baby’s mouth a good workout.
Jaws, gums and palate get stimulated and encourage a optimal oral development for their first teeth later on.
It is also said to lessen cavities later on.
Enough about the baby – what are the benefits of breastfeeding for mom?
…and sometimes even for dad?
1. Super convinient
Breastmilk is the most convenient “fast food” you could possibly think of.
Why? – Well it is always
- at the perfect temperature
- ready to eat
- always available
You never have to mess around with powder and taking hot water with you to make a bottle on the go.
All you have to do is lift your shirt and the milk is ready.
You will never have to clean tons of baby bottles.
Breastfeeding can be done everywhere and at any time no matter if you are shopping in the mall, are on the beach or in the car or on the plane.
That way you have easy access to the breast while still being able to nurse discreet without extra cover over the baby’s head.
There is a big variety of nursing tops that don’t even look like one and are really pretty.
2. It’s FREE!
Feeding your baby with breastmilk can be a huge money factor too.
Looking at the prices of formula nowadays you can save hundreds or even more.
One container of formula of the big name brands can easily cost you around 35$ for about 30 ounces that are gone super fast.
Unless you qualify for assistance like WIC that is a lot of money out of your pocket.
While breastfeeding is completely free of cost for you.
Yes you might eat more while breastfeeding but that’s about it.
You don’t have to buy any bottles and nipples and cleaning supplies for bottles.
3. Postpartum recovery
Breastfeeding is said to help with a faster recovery after giving birth by shrinking the uterus faster which can decrease the amount of blood from the postpartum discharge.
Therefore also a lesser change of anemia because you aren’t loosing that much blood.
And by burning about 500 extra calories a day just by breastfeeding you have a good chance to loose those pregnancy pounds pretty quick.
4. Protection against pregnancy?
Now don’t be fooled – Breastfeeding is NOT a valid form of birth control.
You can still get easily pregnant when you are not using any form of birth control while breastfeeding.
But breastfeeding suppresses ovulation which can result in you not having a normal cycle or a period for months after giving birth.
Since the first normal ovulation happens before you will get your first period you won’t know when this suppression stopped.
5. Health benefits
Breastfeeding moms have a lower risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
And if you are breastfeeding you will have a lower risk of developing osteoporosis when you get older.
6. No getting up at night
I think this may be my favorite perk of breastfeeding.
Just imagine getting up at 2 AM tired to go in the kitchen to make a bottle for your hungry and fussy child.
No thank you right?
When you are breastfeeding you just take your child and nurse right where you’re at – no leaving the warm bed.
Many breastfeeding moms also do dream feedings meaning you and the baby don’t even fully wake up to feed which makes the well needed sleep so much better.
I’m not gonna lie to it can leave you very confused.
Some days I would wake up in the morning not even knowing if I in fact did feed my baby the night before or not.
What is your favorite breastfeeding benefit?
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