To breastfeed or to not breastfeed? Should you pump? This is a very personal choice for a new mother. And as you would imagine, everyone has an opinion.
Luckily real experts have weighted in on this topic. Groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists both recommend breastfeeding only(no juice, no water, especially no formula).
They recomend this for around 6 months. But even after 6 months breastfeeding for another year with other whole foods mixed in like your simple four food groups. Obviously everyone is different and very various reasons will feed shorter or longer depending on their choices.
So what are you benefits of breast feeding? Well, for the baby, breast milk is really the perfect food for infants. It has the best blend of vitamins, protein, and fat. These are all things the baby needs to grow. Again, it is really good for the infant.
The baby easily digests natual milk compared to formula. The mothers milk also passes on antibodies that help fight off bacteria and viruses. This is natures flu shot. Breastfeeding can also lower other health risks like asthma, allergies, ear infections, diarrhea, or other respiratory illnesses.
Now get this, breastfeeding has been linked to smarter children. Some studies have shown a correlations with higher IQ scores. The physical contact and the intimate interactions with the baby fosters an environment of safety for the baby. Breastfed babies are less likely to become overweight as children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also says that breast feeding lowers the rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Other great news is that the baby isn't the only one having fun. Mothers can also benefit from breastfeeding their baby. I bet you would never guess it, but breastfeeding burns calories. So if you think you will have a problem with the extra pregnancy weight this can help you lose it.
It is all part of the healing process, it releases the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin helps the uterus return to the size it was before pregnancy. It can also reduce your risk for breast and ovarian cancer. I think the best part is that it can reduce the stress of making formula.
Formula is not cheap and often times has to be mixed. And all of that time you can gain back so you can relax even if for a short while.