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8 Reasons Why Breastfeeding Is Best for Moms Too

Breast isn't just best for babes!

by
Bethany Mandel

Bio

May 7, 2014 - 7:00 am
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A great deal has been written about the benefits for babies — that it’s easier on their stomachs, better for their brains, a boost for their immune system — but very little has been written on the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers. In the United States only 16 percent of babies are still exclusively breastfed by six months, despite the recommendation of all pediatric associations that babies should be breastfed up to one year of age. After three months of age less than 40 percent of babies are still breastfed. The first three months of a child’s life are the most difficult for parents in every respect, including breastfeeding. New mothers are overwhelmed by the demands of their newborn, the initial pain and difficulty they may have nursing, the inconveniences associated with it including pumping in order to separate from the infant and leaking milk day and night. Why should new mothers stick with it when there’s baby formula conveniently located in every grocery and drug store? These are the reasons why breastfeeding is worth it for mothers too:

1. Schlepping:

Even though finding formula is convenient in any store in the United States, whenever parents go out, formula, bottles and often bottled water need to be added to the already heavy diaper bag. If you’re like me, adding yet another necessary item that can be forgotten to my bag is the last thing I want to do every time I leave home.

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Top Rated Comments   
This is a great list! My sister and I went to a family funeral back in Kentucky while our little ones were nursing and during the viewing we found a tucked away corner where we could feed them. Soon we were surrounded by elderly women who were so happy to see us nursing instead of bottle-feeding. They chatted and got us water and shared stories of their time as young moms. It was magical.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
If your have a perfectly legitimate reason to not nurse at 6 months, then his comments don't apply to you. However, not wanting boobs to sag and not being able to drink are not valid reasons for choosing formula. I have heard them enough from women that I agree with Mark v.

As a mom I learned that the only person who can heap guilt on me is myself.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for your nuanced and well thought out reply. You know what else is EVIL? Attempting to heap guilt on new moms that have enough guilt to go around.

Do you have a valid point? Perhaps. But there are many many legitimate reasons why babies aren't breast fed at six months, including a whole host of medical issues for mom or baby. Many also supplement breast milk, contributing to the statistic about EXCLUSIVE breast milk.

Your point is well taken, and I'm sure you are a plenty nice guy who doesn't mean EVERYONE in that 84% is selfish and making an evil choice, but being a good parent is hard enough and many parents are already agonizing over their decisions regarding nutrition for their kids. And those that aren't aren't likely to be reading this blog anyhow.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (20)
All Comments   (20)
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Well....it's certainly cheaper!
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nursing was not "in vogue" when I had my son. I think society should mind its own business.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have an idea: how about everyone mind her own life?

Stop with the divisiveness.

Moms. do what is best for you and your infant.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Krell didn't breastfeed. That's why they're extinct, and why I'm a Monster from the Id...
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'll take answer # 6 for 500 less calories Alex. Dam...wish I could breast feed someone's baby...that calorie savings is definitely worth the time invested!!
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are other health reasons for breastfeeding which I hope don't happen to anybody else. When my daughter was 6 weeks old, she began bleeding internally. Emergency room, hospital, blah blah blah. I can't tell you the long list of tests she did NOT have to have because she was breastfed. I could continue to feed her in the hospital as opposed to IV.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
How scary that must've been!
Both my kids had to have surgeries as infants and the fact that I was nursing them was a big plus as well.

19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
The most important reason for breastfeeding is nutrition, nutrition, nutrition.

We don't even know all the subtle and not so subtle benefits of feeding a newborn infant as nature intended, but they are manifold. Just do it.

Forty years ago, we also knew that a pregnant woman taking psychotropic/antidepressant medication very likely spelled problems for the growing organism in utero, but I see articles every day as if this is new knowledge.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is a great list! My sister and I went to a family funeral back in Kentucky while our little ones were nursing and during the viewing we found a tucked away corner where we could feed them. Soon we were surrounded by elderly women who were so happy to see us nursing instead of bottle-feeding. They chatted and got us water and shared stories of their time as young moms. It was magical.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, I was looking forward to not getting my period back right away, happened anyway.

Breast fed babies also have fewer illnesses as they receive antibodies from mom (at least according to my pediatrician).

However I would add that many people consider it an all or nothing proposition and this is false. Moms who want some flexibility can work out a system using BOTH breast milk and formula.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I nursed my kids for over a year each and the health benefits to both me and my kids were numerous. The benefits were so broad ranging they almost made all the snide comments hurt less!
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
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