Breast is Best the Benefits of Breastfeeding

Do you breastfeed your infant? Did you breastfeed? Breastfeeding once was a very controversial topic. Back in the sixties and seventies when most of us were infants breastfeeding was frowned upon. If you nursed your infant you were considered weird or people thought that you were too poor to buy formula. My mother formula fed all five of us kids. All of her friends did the same thing.

Today pediatricians, nutritionists and WIC all recommend that you breastfeed your infant. According to Motherwear’s breastfeeding blog, “A study from Germany has found a reduction of 50% in the risk of SIDS for breastfed babies. Past studies have also found a lower SIDS rate among breastfed babies, but the finding was lower – 36% in one study.”

Below are some more benefits to breastfeeding:

  • Breastfeeding protects your baby from gastrointestinal trouble, respiratory problems, and ear infections
  • Breastfeeding can protect your baby from developing allergies.
  • Breastfeeding may boost your child’s intelligence
  • Breastfeeding may protect against obesity later in life
  • Breastfeeding may protect your baby from childhood leukemia
  • Breastfeeding may protect your baby from developing type 1 diabetes
  • Breastfeeding may protect preemies from infections and high blood pressure later in life
  • Breastfeeding may lower your baby’s risk of SIDS
  • Breastfeeding helps you lose weight
  • Breastfeeding can lower your stress levels and reduce postpartum bleeding
  • Breastfeeding may reduce your risk of some types of cancer
  • Breastfeeding may protect against osteoporosis later in life

I have four children and I did not breastfeed all of them, so I understand both sides of this issue. When my oldest was born back in 1997 I was young and did not realize how beneficial breastfeeding was. She lived with my parents and I was in college full time so even if I did understand how healthy breast milk was nursing her was out of the question.

By the time my second child was born in 2006 I was older, married and spent more time with my baby. I started to breast feed her right after she was born but she had a difficult time latching. We were both learning this new concept and it took a couple of weeks for us to get into a routine with breastfeeding. When she was four months old I returned to work full time and she attended day care. At day care she got used to bottle feeding and ultimately rejected the breast. This is pretty common. Bottle feeding is easier and requires less work for an infant. Needless to say I was disappointed but we had to switch to formula and my baby was much happier.

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When my first son was born a year and a half later, I was not working full time any more and my husband and I decided we would try breastfeeding once again. He caught on to it right away and quickly became a mommy’s boy. He hated bottles and pacifiers. I was his pacifier and he nursed for comfort as well as nutrition. I felt a closeness to him unlike anything I experienced with my girls. I nursed my son until he was twelve and a half months old and today we still share a special bond.

Currently I am nursing my fourth child who is three and a half months old. He caught on quickly just like his brother did and everything is going well. He just started teething and occasionally he’ll bite, but I don’t let that bother me. I know that I am doing the best thing for my son and I will continue nursing him until he is at least a year old.

What is your story? I would love to hear it. Do you breastfeed or bottle feed?

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  • Ann , November 19, 2009

    Commented on this over at the BF,
    but here's copy&paste of what went on with me 😉
    Would totally have preferred to breastfeed all of my children as long as possible. But medically, wasn't in my best interest.

    My first two were good. great even. No problems and no issues.

    With my third child, also going great. Able to pump a ton, even though I didn't need to, just so much excess, figured might as well. And that only during the first 6 weeks!

    Went to the ER on his 6 week birthday, had to have surgery the next day due to gallbladder & gallstones. So with surgery and not being near him & then pain meds he went to bottle & the stash. Flew through that quickly! Funny what seem like a ton when you only bottle feed 4 ozs every couple of days, actually isn't all that much when it's his only source of food!

    Went back to breast with no problem. Until he hit 4 months. I had a seizure, diagnosed with epilepsy (WAY out of the blue!!), and had to go on meds that I was told absolutely could not breastfeed on. I was given 3 days to entirely wean him and get him on formula.

    Very bittersweet. Last child I will breastfeed, and it ended in such a crappy way. If it had been me to decide, that's different. But to be told to stop, it sucks.

    So obviously, I think formula is great, because my baby is perfect 😉

  • MannMom3 , November 19, 2009

    I have breast fed all three of my kiddos..I'm currently still breastfeeding my 13 1/2 month old..

    The older 2 I breastfed till they were almost 13 months.

    I havta say though, I am ready to stop..She's still waking up in the night 2-3 times..and I stick her on the boob…and this needs to stop, so hopefully soon I will start weaning..I'm looking forward to haveing my boobs back..:-)


  • Kristie , November 19, 2009

    I breastfed both my little ones. I was lucky to have the support of my mom (who breastfed my siblings and I), because my husband was against it and wanted me to quit by 6 months. I made it to 11 months with each of them and probably would have went longer if I had more support at home.

  • blueviolet , November 20, 2009

    I breastfed both of my kids for about 9 months. At that point, they were starting to get distracted by things going on around them and starting to bite. I weaned them right to a cup. It worked perfectly for me.

  • Dominique Goh , November 20, 2009

    I breastfed both of my boys. 1st one about 6mths and the 2nd on 2.5yrs.
    With the 2nd one I learnt how to block out all the negative comments and naysayers about breastfeeding as I know it is the best for my child. Didn't have much problems weaning him when he turned 2.5 and he could adapt to straw bottles/cups without much hassle.

  • Jackiedlc , November 20, 2009

    I am currently breastfeeding my 7 month old. I breastfed all 4. I love it! Is definetly best for the baby. My little one had only a mild cold as a result of breast milk, when the other 3 were really sick with fever.

    And also is what God gave us women to nurture our Babies with.. He knows BEST!

  • sunnymama , November 20, 2009

    Sunnyboy has just weaned at 3yrs! Breastfeeding is wonderful. 🙂

  • I breastfed both my sons. I stopped both times when I went back to work after a year.

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