Breastfeeding: Benefits for you, benefits for baby

Benefits for you

  • Breastfeeding is free. This means that more money is available for essential baby needs / family spending.
  • Breastfeeding saves time – a lot of time is associated with formula feeding (shopping for formula, bottles, teats, dummies, and sterilisers; preparation, sterilising)
  • The time saved by breastfeeding allows you to enjoy your baby more.
  • Convenience: when you breastfeed, you do not need to worry about carrying bottles, formula, teats etc with you. You do not need to be near a power point for heating bottles; you do not need to be concerned if you are away from home longer than you planned to be.
  • Better bonding with your baby.
  • Breastfeeding helps you re-gain your pre-pregnancy weight.
  • Breastfeeding helps your uterus to clamp down after birth and in the weeks following. This reduces blood less and plays a role in preventing post-natal anaemia.
  • Breastfeeding is a relaxing experience that helps to regulate your hormones.
  • Breastfeeding delays the return of menstruation.
  • Breastfeeding can be used as a contraceptive under some circumstances, safely and effectively – please discuss this with me if you wish to know more. As a contraceptive, breastfeeding is free, natural and easy. There are no side-effects.
  • Breastfeeding can enhance your long term health: women who breastfeed experience less breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis.
  • Benefits for your baby

  • Breastfeeding is clean. There is no need to worry about sterilising bottles and preparing formula.
  • Breastfeeding is safe and no medical conditions are caused by breastfeeding.
  • Babies who are breastfed experience less gastroenteritis (upset tummies) and are less likely to experience allergies, asthma, diabetes and obesity in childhood. They are also less likely to experience colds (through transfer of antibodies from mother to baby), respiratory infections, ear infections and urinary tract infections. There is some research that supports the idea that breastfeeding protects babies from SIDS. The increased health that breast-fed babies enjoy means that you spend less time attending medical appointments and worry less about your baby.
  • Breast milk contains proteins, antibodies, vitamins and minerals and other elements that are not found in formula. This makes breast milk the perfect food for babies.
  • Breastfeeding helps to develop the baby’s jaw muscles and tongue movements. Hence, breastfed babies often talk earlier than formula-fed babies.
  • Breast milk is the only food a baby needs for the first 6 months.
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