Advantages of breast feeding for baby
During your pregnancy you would have been told about the benefits of breast feeding. Breast milk is a what nature intended your baby to have and is definitely the best for your baby.
In those very first few days after baby is born your breast milk will contain colostrum. It is a yellowish liquid that is packed with valuable proteins that your baby needs for the development of his immune system.
This protein is easy for baby to digest. It is easily absorbed especially by baby’s developing brain. The fact is breast milk in those early few days is superman food for your baby. Designed by nature, delivered by mother.
Breast milk increases baby’s resistance to infection, it is sterile, decreases the risk of allergies, reduces tummy upsets and constipation. Baby is also less likely to develop lactose intolerance.
Advantages of breast feeding for mum
For the first couple of weeks you will be feeding baby every four hours and sleep deprivation is a big problem. At this time it is so much easier for the exhausted mum to breast feed.
When baby wakes in the middle of the night all you have to do is put him on the breast. The last thing you will want to be doing is to get up and heat a bottl of formula for him. Breast feeding really is the no fuss, no mess convenient way of feeding baby.
Mum also has the peace of mind that what her baby is getting is the best there is. No preservatives, no additives and all natural as nature intended. Apart from all the necessary nutrients that breast milk contains such as easily digested vitamins and minerals, it is readily available, without fuss or mess, when needed and always at the right temperature. As an added bonus it costs much less than formula.
So what are the disadvantages
First and foremost for many mums is the fact that there is no way to measure how much milk baby is getting.
No one else can feed your baby. This is one of of the arguments put forward for choosing formula over breast feeding. If this is your only reason for deciding not to breast feed then you can express your milk and get dad to give you a break from feeding at night. This will promote father and baby bonding and give you a well earned rest.
Breast feeding can cause mums nipples to crack and this is quite painful for mum when she feeds baby. Care of your nipples at this time is very important.
When your breasts are engorged with mild it can be painful. Mastitis can be a problem for some women. There can be some breast leakage that can be embarrassing when it is visible on your clothes.
Mum may have diet restriction when she is breast feeding. For instance it is advisable to give up alcohol if you are breast feeding. It is recommended that you only have one or two glasses of wine a week.
Although breast feeding a baby is as natural as breathing a lot of narrow minded people may find it offensive. You may not be comfortable feeding baby in public.
Breastfed babies tend to wake up more often at night and this can be a real problem for an exhausted new mum.
Last but not least, when you decide to stop breast feeding it may take up to 2 weeks for your milk to dry up. The only way is to stop breast feeding altogether and wear a firm bra until your milk is gone.
As you an see there are a number of pros and cons associated with breast feeding. The benefits for the baby are definitely a good reason to breast feed. It will give your child the best possible start in life and also make feeding baby a lot easier for you.
On the downside it can cause a lot of discomfort for mum.
Both of babies parents should decide what is the best way for them. You may feel pressured by friends and family to breast feed but remember, this is your baby and it is your choice.
What ever you and your partner choose I am sure the decision will always be in the best interests of the entire family. Mum, Dad and baby.
I hope this has helped you in some small way and I would love to hear your comments on the subject so why not drop me note below and let me know how you are getting on.