While it is not always the easiest path to take, Cribs for Kids encourages all new mothers to breastfeed. We advocate for this choice because studies have found that breastfeeding for even a 2 month period of time reduces instances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by almost half. Breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months has been found to reduce SIDS by 70% which, for us, is reason enough to whip out our pom-poms and megaphones and lead the cheer. If you are still on the fence, weighing the pros and cons, here are 5 more compelling reasons to jump on board.
Did you know?
Breastfeeding can become your new happy place. When you breastfeed your body releases the feel-good hormone oxytocin. The release of this hormone causes contractions that allow your baby to receive milk from your breasts. It is also responsible for causing the contractions that help your uterus to shrink down to its pre-birth size, which helps you to recover from childbirth more quickly. The release of oxytocin promotes a sense of peace and well being. It encourages relaxation while lowering levels of stress and anxiety. Oxytocin, known as the love and trust hormone, helps a mother to bond with her new baby and is helpful in fighting incidents of postpartum depression.
Breastfeeding can help you return you to your pre-baby weight. In producing milk for your baby, your body uses stored fat cells from your pregnancy as well as calories from your diet. Milk production raises the mother’s basal metabolism by up to 500 calories per day. This means that even while increasing caloric intake to the recommended 300 – 500 calories above what is normally consumed, your body is still slimming down. Breastfeeding mothers are also normally more motivated to continue the nutritionally balanced diet plan that they observed throughout their pregnancy. They call it natures liposuction for a reason.
Breastfeeding gives your baby the healthiest possible start in life. Breast milk contains the perfect balance of nutrients, vitamins, fats, proteins, and antibodies to help your baby develop properly. Colostrum, a thick yellowish liquid that you expel when you first begin feeding, is full of antibodies and immunoglobulins. It activates the baby’s immune system and is essentially your baby’s first vaccine. Breastfeeding protects against food allergies, respiratory and ear infections, childhood obesity, asthma, diabetes, and even strengthens the effect of routine vaccinations. Studies have also shown a boost in brainpower with breastfed babies scoring slightly higher than formula-fed babes on standard IQ tests.
Breastfeeding lowers your risk of contracting certain cancers. Mothers who breastfeed experience a lower risk of contracting both breast and ovarian cancer later in life than mothers who do not. The risk decreases more with each year a woman spends breastfeeding. Studies have also shown that breastfeeding moms also enjoy a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Breastfeeding saves you time, energy and money. There are many practical benefits of breastfeeding. After all, breast milk is a valuable natural resource that is always available at no cost to the mother. Purchasing formula can add stress to a budget that is already supporting the cost of diapers, clothing, nursery furniture and equipment and never-ending incidentals. Having the ability to feed your child for free is an opportunity that should be taken advantage of. There is also no need to spend precious time sterilizing equipment and preparing bottles when your own supply is always the correct consistency and temperature and is available on demand. In addition, the numerous health benefits of breastfeeding cut down on sickness which alleviates healthcare costs and allows parents to spend minimal time away from their jobs.
Cribs for Kids supports all mothers on their journey. While we understand that the decision to breastfeed is a personal one and that everyone’s situation is unique, we do strongly recommend taking advantage of all that breastfeeding has to offer you and your baby. Keep in mind that the maternal fulfillment gained by breastfeeding is perhaps the best benefit of all. Breastfeeding is definitely the right choice for your baby and we hope that it becomes the right choice for you.
We’re rooting for you!