Breastfeeding is a terrific way for mother and baby to bond. It is a special time for just the two of them. A woman has the satisfaction of knowing that she is doing something special for her child that no one else in the world can do!
Apart from the fact that breastfeeding is the way that nature intended mothers to feed their babies, there are a number of real advantages that breastfeeding offers to the mother as well as the baby.
Advantages of breastfeeding for the mother
1. Apart from the fact that breastfeeding is free, whereas formula can turn out expensive over the longer term, one of the practical advantages of breastfeeding is the convenience of not having to sterilize bottles and prepare formula (or getting up in the middle of the night to do this).
2. Mothers expend significant amounts of calories when they are breastfeeding and this can help their regain their pregnancy shape and weight more easily.
3. Breastfeeding helps the uterus regain its normal size and this helps a woman get back into shape more quickly after childbirth.
4. Breastfeeding appears to offer some amount of protection against breast cancer according to some studies.
5. Mothers may find introducing solids easier if their babies are breast fed. The baby is already used to a variety of flavors and tastes of what the mother has eaten, because at least some of this passes on to the baby through breast milk.
Advantages of breastfeeding for the baby
1. Mother’s milk is just right for baby in terms of consistency, temperature, nutrients, etc. that baby needs.
2. It is always available on demand and baby never needs to wait for it! Also it is always fresh, and there is no chance of the milk spoiling or getting contaminated.
3. Mother’s milk offers baby a very valuable immune boost. The antibodies contained in mother’s milk helps babies withstand many infections and disease in infancy and also helps them develop a healthy immune system later in life.
4. Baby gets the satisfaction of suckling even when he or she is no longer hungry and wants to suckle only for comfort. Also a baby is rarely constipated when breastfed.
5. The risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is lower among breastfed babies.