Almost as soon as a woman becomes pregnant, the conversation about Breastfeeding begins. It's commonly stated that "breast is best," but what does that actually mean, and who is it best for?
Understandably, there have been numerous studies and much research done about breastfeeding and its many benefits. Regardless if a woman chooses to nurse her baby (at POPSUGAR, we're supporters of "fed is best" and urge you to make the best choice for you and your baby), there are a lot of advantages to breastfeeding that should be considered. Below are just seven pros for baby and mom.
- Breast milk provides perfectly balanced meals. The human body can truly do some amazing things, and breast milk is pretty spectacular. The milk is specially tailored to an infant's needs, with the perfect blend of nutrition to ensure that baby grows big and strong.
- It can also provide a natural defense against illnesses. Some studies have shown that breast milk will contain nutrients and antibodies that will help the baby defend against common childhood illnesses. This is especially important since medicines are very restricted for babies of a young age.
- Nursing might lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). One of the scariest parts of having an infant is the risk of SIDS. A study found that nursing can reduce the risk of SIDS around 50 percent, and recommends that parents nurse at least up until six months old.
- Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of asthma. Asthma is a notoriously hard condition to live with. Thankfully, it was recently found that babies who carry the genetic marker for asthma could be protected by breastfeeding .
- Nursing saves an astounding amount of money. Since the mom's body is creating the milk, it's no wonder that it is an extreme cost-saving measure. Overall, a minimum of $3.6 billion would be saved if breastfeeding participants were raised to the Surgeon General's recommended numbers, roughly 70 to 75 percent of newborns.
- Breastfeeding is probably the greenest option. Breastfeeding doesn't require any packaging or bottles, making it more environmentally beneficial. For every 1 million formula-fed babies, 150 million formula containers are consumed, many of which end up in a landfill.
- Producing breast milk is said to burn calories. After giving birth, it can be difficult to get back into an exercise routine. Since breastfeeding burns 425 to 700 calories per day, many women attribute breastfeeding to returning to their pre-baby weight.