Hi mamas! I’m Kristin, a Lactation Link IBCLC and mom of 5. I’m here today to share with you my top 5 reasons to breastfeed. Enjoy!
We’ve all heard that “breast is best” and you’ve probably heard a few things scattered in with that to explain why—breastfed babies are healthier, or less fussy, or more attached to their parents and more. But why is breast really best? Why is mom’s breast literally home for babies? Why do women even want to breastfeed?
The following are my top five reasons why women choose to breastfeed:
- Nutrition: This is the food part. Baby must be fed, of course! Breastmilk has balanced nutrition tailored just right for your baby. You could call it 100% organic!
- Immunities: You’ve probably heard that breastmilk has lots of probiotics in it, which is true, and so important for a developing tummy! It also has a ton of disease-fighters that can’t be found anywhere but breastmilk! (1)
- Emotional: This is the emotional component that breastfeeding fulfills for both mom and baby. We know this is true because oxytocin, the “love hormone” (the same one that is vital in labor and present during sex), is released during breastfeeding. Research also tells us that breastfeeding can be protective against postpartum depression (2). This emotional aspect is also why women who thought they’d wean at six months or one year continue to breastfeed because it brings joy to their babies and themselves.
- Convenience: You never leave home without your breasts, so there’s so much less “equipment” required! Some women are worried that leaving baby may be inconvenient as they’ll have to pump, but the milk is always there and can be expressed on your timetable, though it needs to be regularly removed. You’ll never need to run to the store in the middle of the night because you ran out of formula! You’ll also save hours per week (shopping for formula, disposing of the cans, mixing the bottles, washing the bottles, etc)
- Cost savings: Did you know that formula for a year can cost $3000 or more, and even more if a special formula is necessary? If you need a breast pump for some mother/baby separation time, click here to see how to get a free pump through your insurance. You may also save money on healthcare because studies show that breastfed babies are generally have less sick-visits to the pediatrician, less infections, and recover from normal childhood illnesses more quickly than their formula-fed peers. (3)
Breastfeeding is important to different women for different reasons, all of which are completely valid. What’s important is that you are supported in the choices you make for you and your baby. That’s our whole mission — Creating Confident Moms! Why did you choose to breastfeed? Share in the comments.
Now that you know why you should breastfeed, learn a few quick things on how to get started with our top ten tips.
You can learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding, how to help get a good latch, providing breastmilk during mother/baby separations and more with our breastfeeding video classes! Many moms have told us how our breastfeeding classes was the best thing they bought for their baby. They are available on-demand to fit into your busy life. If you need personal help to overcome an issue, we can meet you for an in-person or e-consult to troubleshoot!
Thanks for coming by,
Kristin Gourley, IBCLC
(1) Vorbach, Capecchi, Penninger (2006) BioEssays. “Evolution of the mammary gland from the innate immune system?” <https://ai2-s2-pdfs.s3.amazonaws.com/767f/676444e333a47fbb7a6b9e7442c942944023.pdf>
(2) Pope, C.J., Mazmanian, D. (2016) Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression: An Overview and Methodological Recommendations for Future Research. Depression Research and Treatment. doi: 10.1155/2016/4765310. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4842365/
(3) Bartick, M.C., Schwarz, E.B., Green, B.D., Jegier, B.J., Reinhold, A.G., Colaizy, T.T., Bogen, D.L., Schaefer, A.J., and Steube, A.M. (2016). Suboptimal Breastfeeding in the United States: Maternal and Pediatric Health Outcomes and Costs. Maternal and Child Nutrition, doi: 10.1111/mcn.12366. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.