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40 Reasons Why Breastfeeding Is So Good

We hear it all the time–breastfeeding is best.  We know this.  But WHY is breastfeeding really the best way to feed your baby.  In this post we list 40 ways breastfeeding helps you, helps baby, and all the other benefits.

  1. The convenience of it!  It is super easy just to pop your baby on the breast whether you are out and about or at home.  No need to warm your milk or prep a bottle!
  2. Non-smelly poops!  No, really!  Exclusively breastfed babies have the easiest to clean poops that do not smell!
  3. Breastfeeding increases bonding between mother and baby due to the oxytocin which is released when she is breastfeeding and holding her baby.
  4. It helps you loose the “baby weight”.  This is true.  When you are breastfeeding you not only burn an additional 500 calories a day, but the act of nursing actually causes your uterus to shrink back down to its normal size much sooner.
  5. Suckling at breast helps to prevent postpartum hemorrhage (heavy bleeding that can be life-threatening) after birth.
  6. Breastmilk is free!
  7. Lower risk of breast cancer for mom. Unfortunately, those who do not breastfeed have higher risk of breast cancer.
  8. Breastmilk is your baby’s first immunization and helps to build the baby’s immune system.
  9. Protects baby from respiratory illnesses.
  10. Breastmilk helps pass meconium (your baby’s first poop) more quickly!
  11. Lower risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer in mom.
  12. Lower risk of childhood cancers (some lymphomas and Hodgkins disease) for baby.
  13. Suckling optimizes eye-to-hand coordination.
  14. No one knows the exact mechanism but breastfed babies have been found to have lower risk of SIDS. The prevailing thought is that formula puts babies into a deeper sleep which prevents them from waking up if they stop breathing, whereas breastfed babies are able to wake up.
  15. Breastfeeding eliminates the cost of bottles and time associated with cleaning bottles, nipples, and prepping bottles.
  16. Breastmilk always has the right proportion of fat, carbohydrates, and protein.
  17. Lower risk of baby developing eczema if breastfed for 6 months.  In a study conducted prospectively to evaluate breastfeeding’s protective effect against eczema, babies fed soy milk or cow’s milk (formula), 63% and 70%, respectively, developed eczema.
  18. Protects against Crohn’s disease as your child ages.
  19. Breastfed babies have lower risk of cardiopulmonary distress while feeding.
  20. Lower risk of developing osteoporosis for mom.  A study done on South African women found that women who developed osteoporosis were 4 times more likely to not have breastfed compared to the control group.
  21. Reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis for mom and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis for baby.
  22. It satisfies baby’s emotional needs.  All babies need to be held.  Studies have shown that premature babies are more likely to die if they are not held or stroked.  Even if parents choose to bottle feed their babies, there is great temptation to prop the baby up and not cuddle the baby while feeding.
  23. Not breastfeeding is associated with greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis in mom.
  24. Protects baby from vision defects such as night blindness.
  25. Breastmilk is more easily digested than formula.  The softer curds from breastmilk are formed in the stomach and are more quickly processed into the body.  Proteins found in cow’s milk formula are larger and harder on the stomach.
  26. Protects against diarrhea in baby.
  27. Lower risk of obesity for babies later in life.
  28. IQs are higher in babies who are breastfed.
  29. The psychomotor and social development of breastfed babies clearly surpasses that of babies who were bottle-fed, and are still better at 12 months of age.
  30. Fewer ear infections for baby.
  31. Not breastfeeding actually increases the risk of mothers developing ovarian cancer.
  32. Breastmilk tastes better than formula.
  33. Breastfed babies are healthier and therefore require fewer doctor visits.
  34. It is a natural pain reliever for baby.  Breastmilk contains endorphins which help suppress pain in infants.
  35. Breastfed babies get fewer cavities.
  36. Breastmilk contains no synthetic growth hormones.
  37. Breastfeeding facilitates proper jaw and dental development through the natural jaw excursions required to breastfeed.
  38. Breastmilk has never been recalled!  Whereas, think of the number of times you’ve heard of a formula  (or a batch) being recalled.
  39. Better cognitive development in baby.
  40. Breastmilk is a good natural antibiotic for wounds.

 

Modified from “101 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Child” from ProMoM, Inc.