There are many benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby and this post on breastfeeding benefits might help answer the question of “Should I breastfeed or bottle feed?”
Whatever your decision, at the end of the day your health and the baby’s health are most important. And just remember this is a judgment-free zone on whatever you choose.
Make the best choice for your situation.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding?
- Breastfeeding is a natural approach to feeding your baby.
- Breastmilk is always the right temperature so no need to wait for it to warm up or cool down.
- Perfect distance- Breastfeeding puts you and your baby the perfect distance so they can see you as you eat. Increasing your bond with each other.
- Whether your birth a baby via natural childbirth or caesarian section your body naturally starts producing breast milk after birth.
- You can breastfeed anywhere.
- Saves money- No bottles to buy. No expensive formula, just you and your baby are all you need.
- Saves time- no bottle prepping, cleaning bottles, etc. Just you and your baby.
Although there are Breastfeeding Myths out in the world, don’t believe everything you hear at baby showers and around the office water cooler. Your baby feeding journey will be like your birth story – unique and specific to you.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding for mom?
There are physical, mental, and practical breastfeeding benefits for new mothers.
- Breastfeeding can be a natural solution to the problem of blocked milk ducts also known as Mastitis.
- Breastfeeding allows a mother to stop, pause, and connect with her baby. No rushing around. No folding laundry. It’s simply feeding time.
- You don’t have to pack formula, sterilizers, bottles and bottle warmers for errands or vacations.
- Breastfeeding may help you lose weight.
- Breastfeeding helps to contract your uterus faster. When you breastfeed, your body produces more Oxytocin which encourages contractions and helps reduce bleeding and shrinks your uterus faster.
- Breastfeeding can be more economically affordable for families compared to formula.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding for baby?
Breastfeeding isn’t only of benefit to moms, but babies benefit from breastfeeding as well.
- Breastfeeding can assist in the skin to skin connection which benefits your baby.
- It’s great nutrition for baby- Breastmilk has the optimal balance of nutrition perfectly formulated for your baby.
- Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of disease for your baby.
- Breastmilk contains antibodies to help your baby fight common colds and illnesses.
- Helps promote healthy weight gain because they learn to self regulate quicker.
RELATED Breastfeeding in Public
What if I have trouble breastfeeding?
Most moms think after childbirth the hard part is over, but breastfeeding can be a big challenge for some.
Sometimes it is difficult to get your baby to latch properly, find a good suck, and a variety of other issues that pop up.
Moms start “mom guilt” early with this wondering if it is them, but trust me it is not! Even mothers who have breastfed before can have trouble with breastfeeding.
Think of it this way, your baby is just learning how to breastfeed and eat. It’s a learned skill for any baby to figure out how to latch and suck.
So don’t give up if you experience trouble. Breastfeeding isn’t a race. And there’s no magic “one-way” to breastfeed.
How long should I breastfeed?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how long you should breastfeed. There are moms who do it for a couple of months, some do it for 6 months, and others breastfeed until their baby is 1. Some even breastfeed their toddlers.
No matter what you choose to do, you want to make sure it is the best decision for you and your baby.
There are lots of options for breastfeeding help. Natural and store-bought! These items might make your breastfeeding experience a little more comfortable.
Dedicated nursing area. Having a comfortable chair, nursing pillow, glass of water spot will help you get into the zone of breastfeeding. Perhaps near a window, so you can look outside while you breastfeed. Or, if you prefer more privacy, a cozy corner of the nursery.
If you are out and about in public there are starting to be more and more nursing rooms that are available. So keep your eye out in shopping malls, restaurants, and airports.
Reusable Breastfeeding Pads: Most women will experience their breasts leaking milk at one time or another. Using reusable bamboo or cotton breastfeeding pads are an environmentally friendly helper to absorb breastmilk leaks. Comfortable, washable, and sustainable.
Lansinoh Cream: No one tells you about the cracked nipples of breastfeeding.
So let’s discuss the elephant in the nursery…breastfeeding moms get cracked nipples! And it hurts like heck.
100% natural nipple cream will soothe sore, delicate, skin. It is also completely safe for baby. This is a product every mom should get at a baby shower…but if you didn’t you can easily pick it up at pharmacies, major grocery stores, and online.
Breast pumps: breast pumps can be a practical helper to breastfeeding.
Sometimes, dads can feel left out during breastfeeding because they have nothing to do.
However, if Mom pumps her milk, she can freeze or refrigerate it thus allowing other members of the family to bottle feed baby. This not only helps with their connection to the baby but also gives mom a break from being on-call 24/7.
When you have a supply of breastmilk stashed in the freezer, partners can take night shifts, moms can go back to work, and caregivers can provide breastmilk at any time of the day or night.
Modern breast pumps come in a variety of offerings allowing for discrete pumping. There are manual breast pumps, automated breast pumps, single and double breast pumps. Do your research and find one that works for you!
Many insurance companies are providing these for you as well, so be sure to talk with them!
Professional Breastfeeding Help
Some moms require additional breastfeeding help. And that’s totally normal.
Speak with your health care professional about your challenges or concerns with breastfeeding. They can assist you with guiding you through getting a good latch, proper way to hold the baby, and increasing milk production.
Some health care offices offer lactation clinics where doctors, nurses, and certified lactation consultants can do private, one-on-one consultation regarding breastfeeding.
Sometimes, one might need an appointment but sometimes they offer drop-in appointments.
Post-partum doulas, nurses and midwives
If you chose to have a post-partum doula, home nurse, or midwife then they can be a fantastic resource to help guide you through breastfeeding.
When you are interviewing or searching for one of these professionals, you certainly will want to ask about their experience with breastfeeding guidance.
Many birthing specialists have breastfeeding help “services” written into their expectant mother support.
Yes, you can absolutely breastfeed multiple babies (twins, triplets, etc…). At first, you might need help positioning babies for tandem breastfeeding. But it’s possible.