Breastfeeding your baby can be an exciting and rewarding experience, especially for new moms. As your doctor may have already told you, breast milk is the “best” milk for your growing baby. Despite this being true, many women are afraid of the idea of breastfeeding. Here’s a review of some breastfeeding pros and cons that can help put you at ease.
The Pros – Benefits of Breastfeeding
These are some of the many pros to breastfeeding your baby. Reviewing these will give you an overall idea of why breastfeeding is good not only for your baby, but for you as well.
Breast Milk is the “Best” Milk
Breast milk would rightly be considered the best milk for babies because it is designed specifically for them. It provides them with all the nutrients that they need to grow and develop. Human milk is easier for infants to digest in comparison to formula. According to the article 3 Little Known Benefits of Breastfeeding, “breastfed babies smell better, have nicer skin and have better vision.”
Weight Loss for Women Who Breastfeed
Breastfeeding not only helps the uterus to shrink down faster after giving birth, but it has also been shown to help aid breastfeeding mothers in losing weight. This is believed to be true since breastfeeding mothers burn calories every time they make milk.
Breastfeeding Can Be Used as a Safe Birth Control Method
Many women don’t know it, but breastfeeding can be used to help prevent pregnancy. According to plannedparenthood.org, “Breastfeeding can be used as birth control when, after giving birth, a woman breastfeeds her baby exclusively… The act of breastfeeding naturally changes a woman’s hormones so that she does not become pregnant.” I used this method with one of my children and it worked for almost a year. What makes it effective is “exclusively” breastfeeding. I did this and I did it on demand. Therefore, when my baby cried, instead of using a pacifier I would feed. So if a pacifier is used to soothe the baby instead of breastfeeding then it is not exclusive.
Breastfeeding Promotes Bonding
One of the beautiful things about breastfeeding is that it allows the mother and baby to continue bonding. Babies spend months in the womb connected to their mothers and having that continued closeness provides the baby with what he needs emotionally. Healthychildren.org sheds light on the fact that “breastfeeding releases hormones in your body that promote mothering behaviors.” That closeness that mothers provide to their infants will help them feel secure.
The Cons – Disadvantages of Breastfeeding
If your infant is position incorrectly it can cause pain and soreness of the nipples. This pain can be discouraging to new mothers who are breastfeeding for the first time. Sometimes the pain can last for a few days or up to a week, depending upon how soon you learn the proper latching techniques.
Breast Milk Overflow
While they make breast pads for breast feeding mothers to wear, sometimes you may forget to use them. When you do, you may quickly find that when your breasts are full they don’t wait for you to grab a breast pad, when they are ready to go, they do just that – milk starts flowing and this can be embarrassing if you are out in public since your shirt can become drench with milk. I have had this happen several times. If you are caught off guard, you can put a little tissue in your bra to prevent any further leaking until you can get to your destination or to a breast pad.