For years, it has been drilled into mums that breastmilk is the best.
But why, what are the benefits?
Well here are the top 10 benefits of breastmilk
1- Breastmilk contains lots and lots of antibodies. Antibodies neutralise pathogens (bacteria and viruses). Formula milk does not contain antibodies. It is said that breastfed babies tend to have far fewer colds and respiratory tract infections than formula fed babies.
2- Breastmilk is unique to you. It has the magical ability to change every day depending on environmental factors, foods you’ve consumed and bacteria you have been exposed too. It is tailored to your baby’s specific, individual needs.
3- Breastmilk has been linked to lower incidences of diabetes, obesity and particular childhood cancers. More research is still needed.
4- Breastmilk is free, the optimum temperate, and on tap 24/7, no need to sterile bottles, or dig around for the little spoon that comes in tubs of formula.
5- Babies who are breastfed are more likely to gain the correct amount of weight and not become overweight children.
6- Breast feeding promotes bonding- all that suckling floods your system with Oxytocin. To maximise the effects try skin to skin whilst breastfeeding.
7- Breast feeding reduces constipation. Breastmilk is very gentle on the digestive system and very easily digested.
8- Breast feeding reduces the chances of allergies.
9- Breastfeeding is a natural pain reliever. Breastmilk contains chemicals that suppress pain. Many mums choose to feed their babies after their vaccinations for this very reason.
10- Breast feeding reduces the chances of suffering from GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
Heacock, H.J”Influence of Breast vs Formula Milk in Physiologic Gastroesophageal Reflux in Healthy Newborn Infants”.
Don’t feel pressured to breastfeed, do what suits you and your family. I could not breastfeed my 1st daughter due to long-term medication I was on for my Ulcerative Colitis. Formula feeding her did not hinder me bonding with her, loving her, it did not affect her development at all. She was happy and healthy and that’s all that mattered. She did everything early before it was even a milestone. Still to this day she is perfectly healthy, and such a bright cookie.
When I became pregnant the second time around, things were different. I was on new medication which meant I could try breast feeding. I managed 3 weeks exclusively breast feeding. Unfortunately, I found the pain unbearable amongst other issues with our newborn daughter. Even though I breastfed she suffers from a cows milk protein allergy, eczema, and she had severe GERD.
Breastfeeding may reduce these chances. It is no guarantee by any means.
Breast or Bottle, it’s your choice, do not feel pressured by anyone! As long as your baby fed and loved and all their needs are being met, I personally don’t see a problem.
Image: Pixabay (Edited)