August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month! The breastfeeding campaign, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, hopes to empower women to commit to breastfeeding by highlighting new research showing that babies who are exclusively breastfed for six months are less likely to develop ear infections, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses, and may be less likely to develop childhood obesity.
I have been breastfeeding exclusively for about 3 months now, and I am so happy I stuck with it and didn't give up. It's probably one of the best decisions I've ever made. So in honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I made a list of benefits on why you should breastfeed (for at least 6 months), the list is much longer but these are just some of my favorites! So if you're deciding whether or not to breastfeed your baby, here are some deciding factors for you!
- Breastfeeding provides warmth and closeness:The physical contact during breastfeeding provides an awesome bonding experience with you and your baby, plus the warmth of your body gives baby a comfort like no other!
- Faster recovery time after delivery:Whether you have a c-section or natural delivery, breastfeeding releases a hormone in the mother called oxytocin, which causes the uterus to return to its normal size more quickly.
- Helps with losing the baby weight:Mothers burn many calories during lactation as their bodies work hard to produce more milk!
- Protects your baby from many illnesses:Numerous studies from around the world have shown that stomach viruses, lower respiratory illnesses, ear infections, and meningitis occur less often in breastfed babies and are less severe when they do happen.
- Keeps mom healthy:Breastfeeding has been proven to decrease the chances of getting various cancers such as breast cancer or developing osteoporosis in the future. It also helps with postpartum depression, and may lower your cholesterol!
- It's customized just for your baby:The amazing thing about breast milk is it's designed just for your baby, something formula can't do. Babies receive the most complete and optimal mix of nutrients & antibodies. I like to call it, "liquid gold".
- It's convenient and endless:Where ever you go, your milk goes. You will never forget it or have to go to the store to buy more. The beauty of breastfeeding is the fact that whatever happens, whether you get stranded on an island, you will always have food for your baby! It also makes those late night feedings much more easier. Plus you can lay down and take a snooze while you feed them (just make sure they are secure and safe)!
- It's sterile and the perfect temperature:You don't have to worry about your baby getting a hold of bacteria and it's always just the right temperature!
- Smarter babies:Breastfed infants develop higher IQ's, and have improved brain and nervous system development.
- It's FREE!This is my favorite one! As we all may know, formula is NOT cheap. On average, you will spend about $1,700 a year on formula! That's not even including the price for bottles and water for formula.
These are only a few reasons as to why I love to breastfeed, but there are MANY more health benefits that would make this blog tremendously long.
I know breastfeeding isn't easy at first, TRUST ME, It took me about 4 weeks to finally get a hang of things (my baby was having terrible latching issues which meant lots of pain!) But once you and your baby get comfortable enough with it, it really is the best feeling in the world! For those who have issues with milk production or even latching problems, I strongly urge you to reach out to a lactation consultant near you, they were the main reason why I didn't give up and what helped my baby latch correctly.
Hope this helps! Questions? Ask them in the comment section! :) Or tell me what your favorite thing about breastfeeding is.