In an effort to create a better start for their babies (and save some money, too), many mothers are choosing to breastfeed—but it’s important to consider both the pros and cons to this option.
Everyone knows that there are major benefits to breastfeeding babies. This option has been shown to help babies build stronger immunities and be able to fight off common illnesses such as influenza and the common cold, as well as other serious ailments like allergies.
Breastfeeding is also great if you want to help your small baby to put on weight faster, as studies show that most mothers’ milk contains more of the essential fats that babies need to grow quickly.
Some studies have even found that children who were breastfed had higher IQ’s and were more socially confident than their counterparts that were fed only formula from bottles.
Many mothers feel that there is nothing sweeter than the feeling of holding their little one close and latching on and they reap the emotional and financial rewards each time their child feeds, too.
This method of feeding a child can be helpful for new mothers that are trying to lose weight and can help to delay fertility for a while, which is a plus for many mothers with a new baby.
Additionally, it has been found that breastfeeding babies can actually help women to fight certain cancers, including ovarian and possibly breast cancer .
Although such benefits may make the choice to breastfeed seem obvious, it’s important to note that there are some situations where breastfeeding just isn’t appropriate.
For example, a mother with inverted nipples may both physically be able to nurse her infant naturally.
Also, there can be instances where the milk of the mother itself is simply not the best option, such as when a mother has to take certain medications.
And of course having twins, triplets or even more babies at a time may rule out the possibility of producing enough milk to feed them all.
New mothers who must go back to work soon after giving birth often find that it’s very difficult to find a quiet place and the right time to pump. Other mothers report that it’s painful to pump, which can make producing enough milk to feed the baby difficult.
Breastfeeding can also cause mothers to feel very tired. Not only is it time consuming, but the body uses a lot of energy to make sufficient milk, in turn causing mothers to feel fatigue .
When this is combined with the frustration that learning to breastfeed can cause and other physical issues that can arise, such as sore nipples, engorgement or mastitis, breastfeeding might not be the right choice for every mother.
The bottom line is that while it is usually a very healthy option for babies to breastfeed, many mothers who find that they cannot are still able to have a content, satisfied and healthy baby.
It is still possible to create the essential bonds with their babies and in most cases their children are no more likely to have health issues than breastfed children.
The choice to breastfeed is a very personal one and should be valued as such. All factors should be carefully considered before choosing or ruling out breastfeeding as the main way of feeding a baby.
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