Sometimes challenges arise that keep you from breastfeeding. I totally understand that, and do not mean any disrespect towards those mothers. This post is intended for pregnant women, and women who are in the thick of breastfeeding and may need some encouragement to keep going!
First and foremost, I am a major proponent of breastfeeding, and breastfed my first born until he was 15 months old. Every mom has their own opinion on the importance of breastfeeding, and I have come to mine based on research and my experience with my first born child. I have laid out the most beneficial reasons for your newborn to breastfeed. Maybe you already understand the importance of breastfeeding, so these benefits will just give you the reassurance and willpower to keep going.
+ Hormones, hormones, and did I already mention HORMONES? Breastfeeding releases two crucial hormones that aid in the recovery from birth.
First, prolactin is released which calms you the hell down.
You are probably an emotional roller-coaster dealing with your life just getting turned upside down (in the best way possible, of course), and being in awe of the life you just gave birth to. Prolactin sends peace and stillness through your body, so you can enjoy this bundle you just pushed out of your hot-pocket.
The other hormone, my personal favorite, is oxytocin. This is the hormone that makes you fall MADLY, DEEPLY, HEAD-OVER-HEELS in love with your bambino. The attachment and bond you form with your baby is thanks to this incredible hormone your body has produced. Pretty cool, right?
+ The physical advantages are off-the-charts good!
Not only does oxytocin make you fall in love with your baby, but this secret weapon returns your uterus to it’s original size. This is why you experience cramping during those first couple weeks of breastfeeding. Oxytocin also reduces post-partum bleeding. Yes, please!
Another major plus of breastfeeding is you are at a lower risk for both breast and ovarian cancer later in life.
Um, I am all about lowering my risk of getting the Big C, aren’t you?
+ Let’s get practical for a second…
If you breastfeed, you get to save beau-coos of money. There is nothing cheap about formula. Whether you choose to get crazy about your formula, and buy it from Whole Foods or get a more mainstream formula from Target…you are going to dish out some dough. Your tata’s make FREE milk. Yahtzee!
+ Your baby just got served the Rolls Royce’s of Milk
Your breastmilk is tailored to the specific and daily needs of your little one. If tomorrow your baby needs more calcium, your body will automatically produce more calcium in your milk whether you consumed it by eating a certain food or if it has to leach it from your body…Your baby is getting it. Freaky cool, right? Formula, no matter how fancy, can not tailor to your baby’s ever-changing needs.
+ Your protecting your baby like Kim K’s bodyguards are guarding her post-robbery
Breastmilk has your antibodies in it, so your baby is at a lower risk of developing disease and infection early on. Oh, and your baby is also at a lower risk of developing asthma and allergies. I have horrendous asthma & allergies, so I particularly loved this benefit.
Fun Fact: If you can breastfeed exclusively (no formula) for the first 6 months of your baby’s life they have less ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and diarrhea.
At the end of the day…
Do everything in your power to breastfeed. Everyone has different obstacles, and very few women are just naturals. At first, breastfeeding is a dance you do with your baby. Your nipples feel like they may fall off, your baby is furiously trying to feed, and you are wincing at every suckle…This too shall pass. You are a rockstar momma and you totally got this!