I wrote this post back in 2012. But it is worth sharing again.
When I was a new mom, I remember asking Nanny, my mom’s mom, if she breastfed. She explained that at that time formula was thought to be better for the baby. A lot of research has been done over the last 100 years on breast milk, and here are a few of the highlights that I’ve learned and been impressed by.
*If someone with a cold comes near a baby or say kisses the baby, when the mom kisses that baby her body begins to make antibodies for the baby to fight off the cold.
*Breast milk is specially made just for the baby’s need at that time including volume and what is in it.
*What a new mom eats goes into the baby’s milk, so the baby is gets a flavor for how your family eats. Because the milk changes based on what you eat, he or she is less likely to be a picky eater.
*I saved a chart from our birthing class that compares breast milk and formula. Formula had 7 ingredients, and breast milk had 48 more ingredients like enzymes that help digest the food, growth factors which stimulate growth, hormones that regulate metabolism, tons of antibacterial factors that protect against infection, antiviral factors to protect against viruses, and things to help protect against parasites and allergies.
*Breastfeeding moms who breastfeed for at least 6 months are less likely to have breast and cervical cancer.
*Breastfeeding is WAY cheaper than formula.
*Breastfeeding helps the mom and baby to bond.
*Breastfeeding helps to take off the pregnancy weight.
Is it easy to breastfeed, well yes and no. For me there were initial struggles, but once Eliana and I got the hang of things, life was much easier. A friend gave me great advice before Eliana came. She said that you have to decide before hand to breastfeed, because there will come a time when it is hard, can be painful, and/or the baby isn’t breastfeeding well. You don’t want to decide then if breastfeeding is best. The first few days I thought I was doing okay and things would be fine. Somewhere before 2 weeks, I hit that wall of, “Oh man, this is way harder than I thought!” I was glad Kyle supported me in breastfeeding, and that I had others around me to encourage me.
I understand that there are times when formula is helpful. I have a friend whose premature son needed the formula, because his mom wasn’t making enough. Another friend’s son wasn’t growing up to par, and so he is supplemented with formula. I understand that there are reasons for formula. My purpose in writing is to shed some light on the benefits of breast feeding with the hope that it will encourage new moms to consider breast feeding.