10 Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom and Baby

June 12, 2020

It is not unusual to relax and visit with my moms after their session for upwards of an hour or more talking about their deliveries, what their pregnancy journey looked like, breastfeeding and even some of their fears and insecurities as a new mom.

I treasure these conversations and deeply value the level of trust that these moms place in me to share freely their thoughts, joys and fears – each story is a learning experience for me as well.   

Mississippi Breastfeeding Mom SessionI want to have conversations that support, empower and encourage moms in a genuine and heartfelt ways – motherhood is a challenge and you are not alone in your struggles.  This is my goal: a community of conversation.

We want to offer short, informative posts that new moms can find helpful and supportive in their new journey.  We hope you enjoy!  Thank you for joining us here.

Breastfeeding your baby brings all of these benefits plus a whole lot more!

Want to reduce the chances of ear infections for your newborn? YES, please! A lower risk of asthma? ABSOLUTELY!  What about possibly increasing your child’s IQ (Harvard, here we come!)? 

1. A healthier baby

Breastfeeding is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization and many other groups and is considered the healthiest choice for giving babies the best possible start in life: breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria.  Research and numerous studies conducted by both agencies have found that the incidences of pneumonia, colds and viruses are reduced among breastfed babies.  Gastrointestinal infections – such as diarrhea, which can be devastating, especially in developing countries, are also less common.

2. Long term health protection

Moms who breastfeed their baby help to reduce their overall risk of developing chronic conditions such as Type I Diabetes, Celiac Disease and Crohn’s Disease.

3. Stronger bones

According to infant-nutrition expert Ruth A. Lawrence, M.D., a professor of pediatrics and OB-GYN at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, N.Y., women who breastfeed have a lower risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. “When a woman is pregnant and lactating, her body absorbs calcium much more efficiently,” she explains. “So while some bones, particularly those in the spine and hips, may be a bit less dense at weaning, six months later, they are more dense than before pregnancy.”

4. Lower SIDS risk

Breastfeeding lowers a baby’s risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) by about HALF.

5. Turn your body into a calorie incinerator

You may have heard that nursing burns up to 500 calories a day. And that’s almost right. “Breast milk contains 20 calories per ounce,” Lawrence explains. “If you feed your baby 20 ounces a day, that’s 400 calories you’ve swept out of your body.”  It’s also more likely that neither you or your baby will become obese if you breastfeed.

6. Better post-delivery healing

The oxytocin released when your baby nurses helps your uterus contract, reducing post-delivery blood loss. Plus, breastfeeding will help your uterus return to its normal size more quickly—at about six weeks postpartum, compared with 10 weeks if you do not breastfeed.

7.  It’s affordable

According to La Leche League International, the cost of formula can range anywhere from $134 to $491 per month. That’s $1,608 to $5,892 in one year.

8. It’s convenient

Simply adjust your clothing and nurse!  Breastmilk is always available, the perfect temperature and there’s no bottles to wash.

9.  A great way to learn about your baby

When breastfeeding, you have to learn about your baby’s ‘satiety cues’ a little better, because unlike with a bottle, you can’t see how much baby has eaten.  You have to rely on your instincts and your baby’s behavior to know when your baby is full.

10.  Better friendships

Breastfeeding helps cultivate relationships with other moms and forge positive postpartum relationships through conversations: talking about parenting styles, nighttime feedings or challenges.

Enjoyed this post?  Check out some of our other featured articles! Please share this post with another mom and help create your own “community of conversation.” We would love to hear from you!  Let’s connect:  Send us a message.

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