This post is all about breastfeeding benefits for mom and why I love breastfeeding.
If you are in the latter stages of your pregnancy, you’ve probably started thinking about how you want to feed your baby when he/she finally makes their debut into this world. You may have also been asked whether you are planning to breastfeed a few times throughout your pregnancy.
Even if you haven’t faced these questions, there are a few things you will no doubt have to decide to purchase before your baby arrives that will depend on whether you plan on breastfeeding or not: if you are planning to breastfeed, you may want to purchase a breast pump, nursing cover and nursing pads. On the other hand, if you are not planning to breastfeed, you will need to purchase formula, bottles, and a bottle sterilizer.
No matter how you want to feed your baby, just remember that fed is best. As we all know, there are both advantages and disadvantages of breastfeeding. But, if you are even just thinking of breastfeeding, let me share with you why you should try your best to breastfeed. I’ll let you know in this post the breastfeeding benefits for mom from my own experience.
- Advantages of breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding health benefits for mom
- Why breastfeeding is more convenient
- Disadvantages of breastfeeding
- Minimum amount of time you should breastfeed? (2 months? 3 months?)
- At what age is breastfeeding no longer beneficial?
- Are breastfed babies smarter? Have stronger immune systems?
- Are breastfed babies more clingy?
Advantages of breastfeeding
We all know there are lots of benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby, but these ones are the benefits/advantages I personally love based on my breastfeeding journey so far.
* these are based on my personal experience and opinions
- As a breastfeeding mother, I love knowing that she gets the best nutrition for her age
- I love watching her nurse and be content – closed eyes, instantly relaxed, etc.
- I love being able to calm her down by just nursing
- It makes my heart melt when she stares up at me while nursing, and when she touches the boob so she can have more milk lol
- I love being able to catch the silly things she does like unlatch just to see where the noise is coming from
- Not having to get up in the middle of the night when she needs to nurse (we co sleep too)
- Being able to use my hands while she feeds (can still go on my phone)
- I can nurse her even while using a carrier, which means if push comes to shove, I can continue to do house chores while nursing
- My diaper bag is lighter because I don’t have to bring baby bottles and formula
- I don’t have to constantly wash bottles and sterilize them
- I am able to provide my baby with antibodies and the exact nutrition she need at any particular age. This gave me comfort especially when my husband and I got covid and were worried for her health and safety
Breastfeeding health benefits for mom
- Reduces risk of breast cancer (source: CentraState Medical Center)
- More convenient (see the next section)
- Reduces ovarian cancer risk (source: CentraState Medical Center)
- Helps burn calories so mom can ‘bounce back’ much more easily
- There are also plenty of psychological benefits of breastfeeding, such as being calmer and increasing the bond between mom and baby
Why breastfeeding is more convenient
One of the reasons why I would say breastfeeding is the best choice is that breastfeeding is SO convenient! Sure, starting out feels like you’re literally going through the fire, but as soon as you get through the hurdle of the first few weeks and have gotten the hang of it, it’s honestly the most convenient option.
Why I believe breastfeeding is more convenient:
- You can breastfeed and sleep at the same time
- Don’t need to get up in the middle of the night to prepare formula when your baby wakes up
- Don’t need to prepare formula and bottles in your diaper bag when going out
- Don’t need to constantly wash and sterilize bottles
- You can use your hands (use your phone!) while breastfeeding
Disadvantages of breastfeeding
- It is difficult to leave your baby with other caregivers, especially if she/he won’t take a bottle
- If baby won’t take a bottle, it is difficult to make him/her stop crying during car rides without stopping somewhere to nurse
- Difficult to entrust baby with someone else (ie. husband!) to help him/her fall asleep
Minimum amount of time you should breastfeed? (2 months? 3 months?)
According to the CDC, it is optimal for babies to be exclusively breastfed for the first six months. Many sources tout the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months, however, personally, I know it’s truly difficult sometimes to keep breastfeeding, especially in the first few weeks, so however long you are able to breastfeed, whether it be 1 week, 2 months, or 3 months, there are definitely benefits and it’s definitely better than not breastfeeding at all.
However, if you do want to know my go to breastfeeding hacks to ensure you have a successful breastfeeding journey, read this post here.
Related post: grab this checklist to make sure you have all the things you need to successfully breastfeed
At what age is breastfeeding no longer beneficial?
According to Medela, there is no timeline of when breastfeeding is not beneficial anymore. In other words, moms can breastfeed as long as they please and as long as the baby still wants to breastfeed.
However, I found this interesting article from ABC News that talks about extended breastfeeding until your child is 4 or 5 years old. Breastfeeding until a baby is 4 or 5 years old is still pretty much taboo for many people in western cultures. Not a lot of mothers who breastfeed their babies until this age are very vocal about their breastfeeding status because there are some who disagree with this practice and who think it pretty controversial. There are also some people who believe breastfeeding until this age will stunt children’s growth. However, the WHO does recommend extended breastfeeding and even nursing until the mother and baby so chooses.
Personally I do think it is a personal choice choice. So if you still want to nurse, and your situation allows you to continue nursing, my suggestion is just as simple as: you do you, babe!
Are breastfed babies smarter? Have stronger immune systems?
As a mom, of course you are looking to know the benefits of breastfeeding for child development, and I am here to give a bit of clarity to your questions. First of all, in terms of immunity, in general, breastfed babies do have stronger immunity against sickness and are less likely to be hospitalized. This is due to the antibodies that pass from a mother’s milk directly to the baby as they feed.
How about being smarter? Although breastfeeding advocates tout that one of the many benefits of breastfeeding your baby is that your baby will be smarter, this article proves otherwise. In short, although there are definitely many benefits in breastfeeding, there’s no correlation between IQ and breastfeeding.
Are breastfed babies more clingy?
There are no studies that suggest breastfed babies are more ‘clingy’. This definitely is dependent strictly on the child. Some breastfed babies are clingy, some are not. Same as how some formula fed babies are clingy, and some are not.
This post was all about breastfeeding benefits for mom.
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