My kids are much too old for breastfeeding but I thought that this is a perfect topic to push because it is both healthy for the kids and the mother and free. Where else will you get that good a deal? Now, I know that there is some controversy surrounding breastfeeding. Some women do not believe in it, some do not think it is important or different, etc. This is not a venue to hold matches between those two points and to judge which one is better. This is simply an informative post as to the positives and negatives of breastfeeding, keeping in mind that breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed an infant and that it cots nothing monetarily.
The Pros of Breastfeeding
- A reason to eat and not to gain. In fact, you lose weight! A breastfeeding mom needs more that 500 extra calories a day because the body just burns more while breastfeeding.
- It is easy and requires no expense or fuss. You so not need much more than a comfortable place to prop yourself and your child.
- For those who are comfortable and used to the routines, it is possible to sleep during feedings, especially those night time ones.
- They say that it is a way to foster a bond between mother and child.
- There’s less spitting up, no stains and the poop doesn’t smell!
- There are anti cancer benefits. Research shows that the longer you breastfeed, the lower your risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
- May give you a longer break from getting your period again but ovulation may still occur so this is NOT a birth control method.
- A lot of breastfeeding moms say it feels awesome and is a real confidence booster!
- Breast milk provides natural antibodies. This is usually found in the colostrum or the opaque part of the breast milk. Breastfed babies get more protection against ear infections, colds, and viruses: If the child does have any of the above, the severity will most likely be lessened.
- Breast milk is said to help the brain grow and develop
- They say as well that there is less learning and behavior difficulties
- Less diaper rash and other skin problems due to the natural milk. When rashes occur it is usually a reaction to what the mom is eating and then transmitting through the milk than a reaction to the milk itself.
- It is proven that there is less colic and less crying because of the natural suction from breastfeeding
- Breast milk is easy to digest.
- Research has shown that breast milk protects against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, leukemia, some childhood cancers, and juvenile-onset diabetes
- And breastfeeding moms swear that their babies LOVE the taste!
The Cons of Breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding takes time. Newborns feed every 2 to three hours and so breastfeeding moms follow this schedule even at night.
- If the dad or the grandparents want a turn at feeding the baby, mom still has to pump the breast milk out which may not be as comforting as having the baby feed directly off the breast.
- Breastfeeding is tiring! It takes a lot of energy for your body to make milk, so the mother can often feel quite fatigued.
- Contrary to popular belief, this is not second nature. Almost all moms have at least a moment where they learn how to properly feed their babies. This may cause some anxiety and frustration.
- There may be other problems as well that make breastfeeding difficult. Some common problems are mastitis, inverted nipples, babies not being able to latch properly, plugged milk ducts and engorgement if the baby is not feeding frequently or properly.
- Finally, for the career woman, breastfeeding can be a real challenge. The schedule alone is something that requires a lot of management and support from the workplace.
So, is breastfeeding for you? It is an entirely personal choice. I do not believe there is a right or wrong answer as every loving mother has their stand on why she chooses what she chooses in the care and development of her child. Certainly, these are points for anyone to mull over before making that decision.
Did you breastfeed your child?