Breastfeeding is the most important during the first six months in a babies life. Choosing to breast or bottle feed is the most important decision for the mother and the baby. There are many organizations like The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that recommends breastfeeding is best for the babies.Breastfeeding is most important not only because it is natural; breastfeeding protects babies helping to defend against infections, prevents allergies, protect against a number of chronic conditions, benefits the mother, and benefits society.
The breast produces colostrum which is the thick yellow first breast milk that you make during pregnancy and just after birth. Colostrum is very rich in essential nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby. There is only a small amount that the baby gets out of each feeding, however it is more than enough for his/her tiny stomach. As your baby grows the milk changes, colostrum changes into what is called the mature milk. It is a little thinner than colostrum but still provides all of the nutrients and antibodies your baby needs.
The cells, hormones, and antibodies found in breast milk protects babies from illness. Formula cannot match the natural chemical makeup of human breast milk. Studies have shown that formula fed babies are more at risk for ear infections, diarrhea, lower respiratory illness, asthma, obesity, and type 2 diabetes than breastfed babies. Some research has shown that breastfeeding can also reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes, childhood leukemia, and atopic dermatitis ( a type of skin rash). Breastfeeding has also been known to lower the risk of SIDS ( sudden infant death syndrome).
Mothers can benefit from breastfeeding once your baby settle into a good routine. There are no bottles and nipples to sterilize unless you pump. You do not have to buy, measure, and mix formula. Just as well there are no bottles to have to heat up in the middle of the night. Breastfeeding can save you well over $1,500 each year depending upon how your baby eats. Breastfeeding feels great and rewarding, it gives you more physical contact with your baby which is most important when it comes to newborns; and the skin to skin contact boosts the mother Oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is a hormone that helps milk flow and can calm the mother. Breastfeeding can be great for the mothers health by lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and postpartum depression. Many reports shows that mothers who breastfed benefited from greater weight loss.
Breastfeeding benefits society by saving the United States well over $13 billion per year. The nation itself benefits overall when mothers breastfeed. Research shows that if 90% of families breastfeed for 6 months, nearly 1,000 deaths among infants could be prevented. Medical costs are lower for breastfed babies because they get sick less often than formula fed babies and typically need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations.