To breastfeed or not to breastfeed, now that is a question. There are various reasons why women choose to and not to breastfeed their children. For all those electing to opt out, it may be advantageous to reconsider your decision, as there are countless benefits to breastfeeding for both the mother and the child.
Since its decline in the late 18th to the mid 20th century, breastfeeding has seen a fairly strong resurgence in Western society, and its long list of benefits definitely has something to do with it. When a woman elects to breastfeed, she chooses a path that positively impacts not only her baby, but herself, society and the environment.
So, how does breastfeeding benefit the baby? First and foremost, its human milk, meaning it is naturally engineered for a baby’s consumption. It has all the right nutrients in balanced proportions. Its nutritional value is unmatched by any other dairy and non-dairy formula out there. Additionally, breastfeeding protects babies; there are less gastrointestinal disturbances that one would see with artificially formulated food items, such as upset stomach, gas, constipation and diarrhea. Babies who are breastfeed also have stronger immune systems suffering less from allergies, asthma, diabetes, and cancer and childhood obesity. Also, studies done suggest that there is a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
As for the mother, breastfeeding is great for her health. Not only, does it help women shed those extra pounds put on during pregnancy; it is linked to a lower risk of diabetes, breast and ovarian cancer, as well as postpartum depression. Breastfeeding is also good on the wallet and helps women manage their time more efficiently. Not only can you save $1500+ in feeding expenses: bottles, formula, nipples, etc; you can operate more fluidly without the need to wash and clean up all those supplies. Most importantly, breast feeding can make a woman feel amazing. Breastfeeding is a sure way that mother a child have that quiet bonding time needed, it is suggested that this skin-to-skin contact boosts the mother’s Oxytocin levels, which is a hormone that helps milk flow and relaxes the mother.
Lastly, breastfeeding benefits society and our environment. Latest research reveals that if 90 percent of families would only breastfed for 6 months, approximately 1,000 infant deaths could be prevented. It is believed that the United States could save $13 billion per year in medical care costs because breastfed infants typically need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations. Additionally, the U.S. could save money in some areas of its environmental protection efforts as there is less trash and plastic waste when breastfeeding compared to that produced by formula cans and bottle supplies. Breastfeeding is truly the going green option.
As, you can see there are multiple benefits to breastfeeding babies for those able bodied women. All this information and more can be found at the website of the Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Learning to drink responsibly starts at an early age, so let your milkshake feed all your kids in the yard.