There is no doubt that choosing to breastfeed is a smart decision. Let’s take a look at the benefits it brings to you and your baby.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, and numerous experts in childcare recommend to breastfeed children exclusively for at least first 6 months of life. Breastfeeding provides many benefits not only to the baby, but also to the breastfeeding mother. Choosing to breastfeed means you will have:
- Healthier baby. Breast milk carries all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of her life, and it is packed with disease-fighting immunities that protect your baby from illnesses, including childhood cancers.
- Healthier you. Breastfeeding can reduce your risk of certain cancers. Studies have shown that women are protected against breast and ovarian cancer when they breastfeed for an extended period of time.
- Healthier weight. You can burn from 300 – 500 calories a day, depending on how often you breastfeed, which helps you to shed the ‘baby weight’ faster. At the same time, breastfeeding may protect your child from obesity. Babies learn to eat until their hunger is satisfied, which leads to better eating habits.
- Quality time with baby. Nothing else helps to bond better with your newborn than the time you spend together while breastfeeding. The child feels comfortable in your arms, where she can feel your smell and hear your voice. It also reduces the severity of postpartum depression, if any.
- Convenience. When you choose to breastfeed your child, you are also saving your household quite a bit of money – several thousands per year, in fact. Breast milk is always available to a baby, and does not need to be heated up or prepared in any way.
Experts recommend starting to breastfeed within the first hour after your baby is born, if possible. To learn about breastfeeding diet, read here about what not to eat while breastfeeding, and here for what to eat.