It seems like there are a million decisions to make when it comes to our little babies. Which hospital should they be born in? What brand of diapers should they wear? When should you leave them in the hands of a daycare provider? So many of these decisions can seem somewhat trivial. While your decision on breastfeeding your new baby may not seem like a choice of utmost importance, ultimately, it can have many advantages for both you and your child. Following are five reasons why you may want to consider breastfeeding.
1. To build a bond between you and your baby. A relationship between a mother and child is one of the most important connections in life. Bonding with your child during infancy is important for their development, and can affect the way they interact with other people as they get older. When women breastfeed, they release a hormone known as oxytocin. This hormone, also referred to as the bonding hormone, creates a connection between a mother and her baby.
2. Research suggests it can yield a higher IQ. Many parents invest in different toys and programs and subscribe to different child rearing methods in an effort to give their children an intellectual advantage in life. But the key to increasing your baby’s IQ might not lie in fancy flashcards or online learning videos, but rather a mother’s breastmilk. There is research to suggest that children who are breastfed as infants, will on average have higher IQ scores than their formula-fed counterparts.
3. To decrease health risk for baby and you. Breast milk is filled with so many nutrients that can help keep your child healthy. Several different nutrients found in breast milk can help protect your baby against the common cold and flu. Breastfed babies are also less likely to have asthma, eczema, and food allergies. As if the health benefits for your new bundle of joy aren’t enough to convince you of the benefits of breastfeeding, there is research to suggest that moms who breastfed were less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, as well as ovarian cancer.
4. To save money. Breast milk is free! And though you may have to invest in a pump, the cost of a pump is still significantly lower than feeding your baby formula. The cost of baby formula can really add up before you know it. By not buying formula, you can save yourself thousands of dollars a year.
5. To burn more calories. When you have a new baby, it can be hard to find time to get in a good workout. But even if you can’t find time to hit the treadmill, you can still burn around 500 calories a day just by breastfeeding!
Breastfeeding your baby can be beneficial for the both of you. How long you breastfeed is up to you. Some mothers breastfeed for three months, others for two years or longer. Most health professionals recommend that mothers breastfeed newborns for at least six months. Considering the emotional, health, and economical benefits of nursing when making the decision of whether to breastfeed or not.