What are some of the benefits of breastfeeding?"

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Answered by: Winter, An Expert in the Breastfeeding Category
Breastfeeding

Congratulations on your pregnancy. You have so much to do and plan. One of the main things to figure out is what you're going to feed your baby. There are many options of formula but there is also the option of breastfeeding. More and more people chose breastfeeding every year. Of course breastfeeding has it pros and cons, as does any other option you consider. You might feel the benefits of breastfeeding may out weight the cons.



Breastfeeding has many benefits for the mother and child. Benefits that go beyond nutrition. WHO (World Health Organization) suggest exclusively breastfeeding for at least the first 6 months of life. They also suggest breastfeeding beyond the first year. Breast milk contains all the vitamins and nutrient your child needs. Your baby is easily comforted by hormones that are found inside breast milk creating a bond between mother and child that nothing can change.

For the first few days your baby's stomach is around the size of a marble and his needs are very little. Breast milk for a newborn is called colostrum. Colostrum has a thick yellow orange color and is packed with carbohydrates and protein to build up the baby's immune system, and coat the baby's intestines it also works as a natural laxative making it easier to pass stools. After a couple days your milk will start coming in and adjust to your baby's needs through out your breastfeeding relationship.



There are many benefits for mothers as well. During breastfeeding and the breastfeeding let down, the hormone prolactin is released giving them feeling of relaxation and peace. The hormone oxytocin is also released giving the mother and child the feeling of love which creates the bond between you and your child. Oxytocin also helps return the uterus to its normal size helping the mother healing process making it shorter and it also lowers the postpartum bleeding. Many studies have proven that breastfeeding lowers the mothers chances of breast and ovarian cancer. An added benefit to breastfeeding is the convenience of it. You never have to worry about forgetting the formula or waking up in the middle of the night to make a bottle. Breast milk is always with you making for easy access. These are just some of the benefits of breastfeeding.

There are some complications that could appear during your breastfeeding journey, though with the right support system and working along side a lactation consultant you can work through anything. Some of the common issues that appear could be low milk supply as well as over supply. Many moms suffer from low milk supply. There are many lactation cookies that can help increase your milk supply. But before resorting to a lactation recipes you should nurse and pump as often as you can. After nursing your children you should pump for around 5 minutes so that your body knows you are in need of more milk. Milk is supply and demand. The more milk that's needed the more your body tries to produce. Over supply may seem like a good thing but often it's not. Though you never have to worry about your baby going hungry, over supply can lead to over active let down, which causes your baby to not be able to keep up with the milk flow causing the child gag and spit up. If your baby is unable to empty the breast it can also lead to clogged ducts and eventually mastitis.

Though there are many things for you to take into consideration ultimately the decision is yours and you should do that feels best for you and your family.

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