The 10 Best Reasons to Breastfeed

ThinkstockPhotos-57568164You may have heard it before, but the message is clear- Breastfeeding is beneficial for both baby and mother. If you are still undecided, here are JHMC’s top 10 reasons for choosing breastfeeding as the best form of nutrition for your newborn baby:

  1. It provides nutrients and protection. The first milk, called colostrum, is the perfect first food for babies. Your breast milk’s antibodies help protect baby from the cold and flu and boost his ability to fight off more serious illnesses such as certain cancers like leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease.
  2. It’s always ready & the right temperature. No need to decipher whether your milk is too hot or cold, simply place baby to breast for her feeding.
  3. Creates a greater bond between mother and infant. The skin-to-skin contact you both receive from breastfeeding creates a greater bond since breastfeeding releases the “bonding hormone” oxytocin. The same hormone that’s released when you hug or kiss a loved one.
  4. Provides protection for Mom as well. According to the National Cancer Institute, breastfeeding is associated with a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
  5. Financially beneficial on the family budget. According to La Leche League International, the cost of formula can range anywhere from $134 to $491 per month. That’s $1,608 to $5,892 in one year! Breastfeeding costs nothing because you are producing milk. If you choose to express your milk, many insThinkstockPhotos-524429091urance plans will cover double electric breast pumps.
  6. Breastfed babies are smarter. Various researchers have found a connection between breastfeeding and cognitive development. Studies concluded from IQ scores and other intelligence tests that prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding significantly improves cognitive development.
  7. Helps Mom’s back to their pre-baby shape. With a healthy diet, mom receives the benefits of breastfeeding by burning an average of 500 calories a day, which can help shed those post baby pounds faster than just diet alone.
  8. Lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends breastfeeding for as long as possible to reduce the risk of SIDS. AGerman study published in 2009 found that breastfeeding – either exclusively or partially – is associated with a lower risk of SIDS. The researchers concluded that exclusive breastfeeding at 1 month of age cut the risk of SIDS in half.
  9. Helps with a natural method of birth control. According to the World Health Organization, exclusive breastfeeding is associated with a natural (though not fail-safe) method of birth control offering a 98% protection in the first six months after birth.
  10. Creates confidence in mothers.
    Nursing mothers have reported increased self-confidence and a closer connection to their babies.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.