The slogan is “Breast is best”, but more accurately “breast milk is best”. Because some mothers do experience genuine difficulties breastfeeding – breast is not best if for whatever reason your baby is not being sustained by breast feeding, or breastfeeding alone.
However sometimes Doctors, Childrens Health Nurses, Midwifes do lean to the side of caution and advise mothers “top up” their babies, but before you do ask yourself as well as you healthcare are provider – is my baby having enough wet heavy nappies for their age and is my baby alert and responsive when awake appropriate to their age. It’s totally normal for newborn – or even older babies – to feed often, need to be held often, feed to sleep and be unsettled for periods of time during the day.
There are many benefits to breastfeeding, for both mother and baby.
Some Breastfeeding “pros”
- When breastfeeding is easy, it’s really easy. No bottles, no sterilising, no buying formula, no boiling water, no checking the temperature, none of that. If breastfeeding is going well for you and baby, and breastfeeding can be as simple as step 1 – remove breast from clothes. Step 2 – attach baby. Step 3 – place breast back into clothes. If you offer baby both breasts per feed you will need to repeat steps 1 through 3.
- You can’t forget your breasts. I only have two children and I’m so bad with forgetting things that I literally count my two children before I leave the house. Having my baby’s food strapped to my front 24/7 makes my life a lot easier for someone as forgetful as I am.
- You don’t HAVE to get out of bed at night. If you co-sleep and breastfeed, night feeds can be as quick and easy as attaching baby and going back to sleep (please read Sids and kids sleeping with baby PDF before bed sharing with your baby. http://www.sidsandkids.org/wp-content/uploads/Sleeping-with-Baby.pdf
- Boosted immunity. If you catch a cold your body starts producing the antibodies to fight that cold and pass those antibodies through to your baby to help your baby also fight that cold. It gives baby’s immune system a boost and gives them some protection against illness.
- Breast milk is “free”. The only disclaimer to this is you might find you eat more when you are breast feeding to make up the calories, so this factors into the cost. Also if you express there is the cost of a breast pump, though this isn’t a required expense of breast feeding.
- Some mothers lose weight while breastfeeding. With the extra calories needed to make breast milk, you may find you are able to lose weight or maintain weight because by breastfeeding you are burning calories.
- Breastfeeding is a quick way to troubleshoot why baby is upset. With babies, my mantra is “If in doubt – boob”. If a feed doesn’t help, move on to other possible discomforts or settling techniques.
- Great excuse to ask for baby back. Sometimes some visitors get a little bit too attached to your baby and you start to feel like you want your little one back in your arms, it’s an easy excuse to ask they hand baby back to say it’s time for baby to have a feed – because unlike nappy changes, or putting baby to sleep, it’s the one thing that without risking insulting anyone, that only you can do for your baby.
The following are some useful link on breastfeeding.