There are so many articles out there about breastfeeding and yes, whilst the research certainly backs the benefits of breastfeeding, I wanted to emphasise these benefits as well as give you my own thoughts on why formula feeding was realistically a better option for ME. . . (P.S. I did breastfeed and formula feed all my children).
Recent studies have shown that babies need to be exposed to a certain amount of bacteria in their gut in order to ward off diseases later in life, such as asthma, ear infections and meningitis and this bacteria is found in your breast milk! The first bit of breast milk that is released from your breast, called Colostrum, which is a bit thicker and stickier than normal breast milk, is especially important as it contains antibodies to keep your baby healthy.
Did you know that breast milk is unique to you, like your fingerprint, and the amount of nutrients in it are affected by your stress levels, diet, delivery mode and even your geographic location. Keeping healthy during your breastfeeding days is important, as nutrients will be passed on through your breast milk to baby.
In the early days I was so frazzled and sleep deprived as a new mom that I didn’t even eat anything. So it’s all very well to say one must stay healthy, but it is often the case that your health takes a back seat when looking after your baby, which obviously affects your milk supply. Thank heavens for Fenugreek and formula top ups!! (Many breastfeeding organisations will slam me for this comment, saying that ones body will produce the correct amount of nutrients for baby even if you as the mother are starving but that is a debate which I do not wish to get into – so for the sake of goodwill let’s just agree to disagree!)
Breastfeeding creates a special bond between you and your baby. The skin to skin contact that the baby feels as well as eye contact made while feeding allows baby to feel closer to you and allows for a greater connection between mom and baby.
There were many moments where I bottle fed and the bonding experience for us was also just as great as we stared into each others eyes and I truly believe that no matter how you choose to feed; if you have love to give; your baby will absorb it and reciprocate.
Breast feeding promotes weight loss and can help you lose your pregnancy weight faster according to many moms. Your body naturally burns calories in order to make breast milk, so you are burning calories every time you feed. This is a safe and healthy way to get back to your pre-pregnancy size without depriving baby of needed nutrients (if you went on a diet).
This may be the solution for you, but no matter how much I breastfed I just could not shake off those post pregnancy kilos – all 32kgs of them so gym and a strict diet was my solution.
When breast feeding your little one, your body releases a hormone called Oxytocin, which is known as the “Love Hormone”. This hormone keeps your stress levels to a minimum and helps you to keep calm during your baby’s first months.
Knowing that my baby was getting all the nutrients she needed and satisfying her hunger resulting in a good sleeping pattern for formula usage released my “happy hormone” warding of postnatal depression.
Breast milk is free! By breastfeeding, you will not have to buy formula and bottles. It will also save you time as you will not need to sterilise bottles, which means more time for you to share with baby.
I was able to spend more time bonding and cuddling with my baby and the bottle as I didn’t have to sit for ages pumping my milk.
There has been research done that reports that breastfeeding can reduce the chance of breast cancer in women who breastfeed. There is also information that says that female babies that are breastfed are less likely to get cancer when they grow up.
My friends mom died of breast cancer recently and she breastfed all 5 of her children. 2 of her children have been diagnosed with breast cancer (they also breastfed their kids) and another of her daughters was killed in a hit and run accident. The bottom line is that you just don’t know what is going to happen in life and yes, we all want the best for
the health of our babies but there are no guarantees.
Overall, breastfeeding helps to support the baby’s immune system, as it contain vitamins and nutrients that fight diseases.
There have been fewer reported cases of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) in babies that were breastfed to babies that were not.
In sterile labs with amazing technology and science, formula may be missing certain elements including antibodies but WOW, I would rather have formula promoted to me instead of feeding my baby Cremora or pap because I have been denied access to information about formula. And yes that does happen. . . A LOT!!!!
Lastly, breast feeding is empowering! Knowing that you are the one who is there to feed this little human asserts your role as a mother and creates a strong bond
between you and your baby.
Access to information is empowering – It’s not formula that kills babies, it’s the unhygienic preparation conditions and unsterile water that causes sickness and in severe cases, death. In the fight against infant formula companies, large sums of money have been spent to spread this incorrect message, rather than spending money on quality information about correct preparation and usage to eliminate death and sickness.
Disclaimer: This post has not been sponsored or paid for and is based on personal brand preference and personal research. Breast milk is the best food for infants. Good maternal nutrition is essential to prepare and maintain breastfeeding. If breastfeeding is not applied, an infant formula may be used according to health professionals’ advice. Preparation and storage of any infant formula should be performed as directed on the tin in order not to pose any health hazards.