Breastfeeding is a Wonderful Gift

Bringing a baby into the world is a special and
meaningful time for many parents in their lives. Raising a child requires a lot
of effort with many difficult decisions to make that hopefully will lead to be
in the best interest of the child. Bring a child into the world is also expensive.
 Choosing to breastfeed or formula feed is
one of those many difficult choices new mother’s will need to make.
Understanding the benefits of breastfeeding and how the female body can give
those benefit to a newborn is amazing. However, many healthcare providers will recommend
that breastfeeding is ultimately the most beneficial for babies as it will
provide the best nutritional needs, help boost the baby’s immune system. It also
has many advantages for new mothers as well. New mothers tend to recover
quicker from the pregnancy and childbirth. It helps mothers to lose pregnancy
weight and bring them back to pre-pregnancy weight faster and stimulates the
uterus to return to normal size (“It’s only natural, “2012). According to the American
pregnancy (2017), it’s also easier for babies to digest and absorb breastmilk.
Although it’s ultimately up to the new mother how she would like to feed her
newborn, breastfeeding or breastmilk always gives infants the best source of
nutrition for proper development over formula feeding.  

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Breastfeeding is a natural physiological
process of the female body. World Health Organization (WHO) recommends
exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continue
breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods for up to two years of age (“Exclusive
breastfeeding,” 2017). Breast milk components change depending on the time of
day, age of baby and stage of nursing to give baby all the proper nutrient
(“The composition of Breast Milk,” 2017). When planning to breastfeed its
important to understand how breastmilk benefits newborns verses manufactured
formula. The first milk produced is called colostrum and latest several days,
it is rich in antibodies, high in protein and low in sugar and it’s also very easy
for babies to digest and provides he or she with a natural laxative to help
pass the early stools called meconium. This helps the execration of bilirubin
and help prevent problems with jaundice (“What is Colostrum? How does it
benefit my baby?”2017).  Nothing is worse
than having a sick baby and they aren’t able to communicate with you. Helping
to prevent multiple respiratory infections that last week after week that could
lead to multiple ear infections is never fun. Having to make countless trips to
the doctor’s office because they are febrile or won’t rest comfortably. This is
an added expense and can be stressful for many parents especially if they need
to take antibiotics. According to a recent article colostrum is a 100% safe and
natural vaccine that is passed from mother to baby that contains large amounts
of immune cells such as leukocytes, and antibodies called secretory
immunoglobulin A (igA) which helps to fight against many harmful agents that
effect the intestines, lungs and throat mucus membranes (“Colostrum: Baby’s
first super foods,” 2014). When breastfeeding mothers develop a cold while
breastfeeding, for example, they are likely to pass the cold germs on to the
baby but antibodies from the mother produces to fight that cold and will be
passed on through the milk. These antibodies will help the infant conquer the
cold germs quicker and effectively and possibly avoid developing the cold
altogether (“Breastfeeding Benefits Your Baby’s Immune System”, 2017) According
to Pryor (1999), Mature milk is produced two to four days after baby is born
and at a greater level than colostrum and infants still greatly benefit from
mature milk as it contains water, fat, carbs, protein, vitamins, minerals,
amino acids, enzymes and white blood cells. “Breast milk contains more than 200 known
beneficial elements, with more being discovered all the time. For example,
researchers believe that a recently discovered fatty acid in breast milk
promotes the growth of a baby’s brain and retina and may even enhance cognitive
development. Many of these elements, including infection-fighting white cells,
can’t be manufactured” Pryor (1999). Breastfeed babies also have a lesser change of
developing many long-term problems such as type 1 and 2 diabetes, milk
allergies, atopic dermatitis, acute leukemia, lymphoma and obesity in
adolescence and adulthood. Many parents of new babies worry about Sudden Infant
Death Syndrome (SID), although the reason for this triadic condition is still unknown,
breastfeeding an infant can reduce the changes of SID to take place. According
to this article exclusive breastfeed infants have a 70 percent lower chance of
becoming an infant of SIDS (“Breastfeeding linked to lower risk of SIDS,”
2011). Choosing to breastfeed over formula feeding has some many beneficial
benefits that keep infants secure and continuing to grow healthy.

            Bring
a child into the world is an expensive and long-term investment that many new
parents have to consider and budget accordingly for. Choosing to breastfeed
over formula feeding is one way to save some money with giving your baby the
best possible nutrition to continue to grow healthy. By choosing to breastfeed
there is no need to purchase formula and bottles. On average to formula feed an
infant the first year of life it will cost roughly around 1,733.75 according to
(“How much money does breastfeeding really save?” 2013). If breastfeeding an
infant is the route a new parent will take there is some added bonuses.  Parents won’t have to worry about washing and
sterilizing bottles, mixing formula and warming the formula to correct
temperate as breastmilk is always the right temperature, fresh and available.
No need to worry about recalls from formula manufactures. Just a few extra perks that can save time and
money.

            As
new babies enter the world, breastfeeding is a great way to bond with newborns
that will last forever while giving them the best possible nutrient. Bonding is
also benefits new mothers. Studies show that mothers who breast feed are less
likely to experience post-partum depression. 
According to an article (“Breast feeding and postnatal Depression”,
2016) rates of depression are lower in breastfeeding mothers than their
non-breastfeeding counterparts and breastfeeding is protective of maternal
mental health because it reduces the stress response. As many mothers worry
about weight as they count down the months until new baby will arrive.
Breastfeeding mothers lose weight faster than mothers who choose to formula
feed as breastfeeding burns more calories as the body produces milk.
Breastfeeding mothers need to increase their daily water and calorie intake as
well. When mothers breastfeed prolactin and oxytocin is released. Prolactin is
secreted to help produce milk and gives off a calm, nurturing feeling and
oxytocin increases as babies latch on the breast to nurse which makes the
uterus contract and return to normal size quicker and also reduces bleeding for
a faster recovery. While breastfeeding is most beneficial for baby, it always
brings many benefits to mothers also.

            Finally,
electing to breastfeed over formula feed is a personal and private decision but
as parents giving the very best to a newborn is being responsible. Choosing to
breastfeed is ultimately the best choice a mother can make. Breast milk is apparently
the healthiest way to make sure your baby is getting the best nutrient to grow
and develop cognitively. While choosing to breastfeed a newborn and boosting
the baby’s immune system to keep them health and trying to prevent them from
becoming ill or preventing health problems is a selfless act for something that
cost nothing but has a lifetime of positive effects.