“And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that..our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong.”
1 Nephi 17:2
Every expecting mother has to decide how they’ll feed their baby- whether by formula or by breastfeeding. While anciently breastfeeding was the only option, today there’s the option to use baby formula. While baby formula and mother’s milk can both nourish a baby, research shows mother’s milk has more health and psychological benefits for both mother and child.
Here are some reasons every mother should consider breastfeeding exclusively.
Health benefits of breastfeeding
Health benefits of breastfeeding for baby.
- The colostrum baby drinks during the first few days of breastfeeding is high is nutrients and antibodies (like a vaccine).
- A mother’s milk changes according to baby’s needs- it will appropriate the fat, sugar, water, and protein baby needs.
- A mother’s breastfed milk is easier to digest than baby formula (proteins from mother’s milk, instead of cow milk protein).
- Breastfed babies have a lower risk for diarrhea, asthma, obesity, diabetes, leukemia, dermatitis, intestinal, ear and respiratory infections.
- Babies whose mothers breastfeed them longer tend to have a higher IQ score.
- Babies who drink mother’s milk develop fewer allergies.
Health benefits of breastfeeding for mother.
- Breastfeeding can relieve some chest pains.
- Breastfeeding can save up to $1,500 in formula costs (for a year supply of formula)
- Baby’s bowel movements are more regular, smell less and stain less when they are breastfed.
- Breastfed babies are less prone to getting sick.
- A mother who breastfeeds their baby feels more relaxed as oxytocin in released in her body.
- Breastfeeding is simpler than having to wash containers, buy and mix formula regularly.
- Mothers who breastfeed tend to miss less work because their baby is not sick as often.
- Mothers who breastfeed their babies have a lower risk of diabetes, breast/ovarian cancers, depression, and possibly osteoporosis and weight loss.
- Also, while breastfeeding the mother is less likely to ovulate, thus acting as a natural birth control, giving the mother a physical break.
“Breastfeeding is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information, and the support of their family, the health care system and society at large.”
-World Health Organization
Personal Notes: I believe nature’s way of doing things is often better for us, because God loves us. This week my wife and I attended a class about breastfeeding. Before the class I was oblivious to the many benefits of nursing.