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.

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?

Did you like this article? Visit Juice Box Jungle to read more breastfeeding stories like this one.

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  1. Ann November 19, 2009
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