Among the many things you must consider before you deliver is how you will feed your baby. More and more mothers are choosing to breastfeed, because it is one of the most important contributors to a baby’s health. Additional benefits are that breastfeeding helps you feel and be healthier and saves money. Breastfeeding is recommended for at least the first year of a baby’s life. Many studies have shown that any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial.
It’s important to know that there are a number of resources available to help you succeed. Learning as much as you can about breastfeeding early in your pregnancy is the best preparation. The more comfortable you feel with breastfeeding, the easier it will be for you. Most facilities have a lactation consultant available to assist you with your breastfeeding concerns. There are also a number of books, pamphlets, and web-based resources you can use. Ask your provider or the healthcare team for information regarding local lactation resources.
The benefits of breastfeeding to mom include:
- That it relaxes you. When you breastfeed, hormones are released, which calm and relax you
- Breastfeeding also saves money by reducing or eliminating the cost of buying formula
- Breastfeeding reduces healthcare costs
- Breastfeeding is convenient — no mixing or measuring
- Breastfeeding burns extra calories, so it makes it easier to lose the pounds you gained during your pregnancy
- Breastfeeding helps the uterus to get back to its original size and lessens any bleeding you may have after giving birth, and
- Breastfeeding can help you bond with your baby — physical contact is important to a newborn and can help them feel more secure, warm, and comforted
Breastfeeding also have many benefits for baby:
- Breastfed babies have a healthier start in life because breast milk contains all the nutrients babies need, regardless of whether your baby is premature or full term
- Breast milk has the perfect mix of nutrients for your baby’s digestive system
- Breast milk is always the right temperature for your baby, and
- Breastfeeding is associated with decreased risk of chronic conditions, such as obesity and diabetes