Breastfeeding is highly beneficial to the mother and baby. A mother’s milk contains all of the necessary nutrients needed for the baby including the essential vitamins, A, C and D, and although, formula companies work to produce the sufficient amount of these nutrients, they can not match the exact amounts present in breast milk because a mother’s milk is specifically designed for her baby and simply can not be recreated in a factory.
Breast milk also contains antibodies that are not found in formula that help infants fight off potential viruses and bacteria such as ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory infections, and meningitis and that protect them from allergies, asthma, diabetes, obesity and sudden infant death syndrome.
Breast milk contains components of lactose, protein and fat, and it is considerably more easily digested than formula which causes babies to have fewer bouts of diarrhea and constipation.
Breastfeeding also allows babies to become familiar with different tastes through the breast milk based on what the mother is eating making the transition to solid foods much easier for them.
Breastfeeding comes with no cost unlike formula whose costs can quickly build up over time. With breastfeeding, the hassle of heating bottles and nipples, mixing formula or running out of formula are no longer an issue.
Some studies have actually shown that children who were breastfed have a higher IQ than those who were formula-fed and that breastfeeding can decrease the risk of breast,uterine and ovarian cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Skin-to-skin contact when breastfeeding even builds an emotional connection between mother and baby, and the mother’s ability to nourish their baby makes them confident. Breastfeeding also burns calories and shrinks the uterus which helps mother’s return to their normal weight and shape shortly after labor.
Unfortunately, many mothers today are discouraged to breastfeed due to fear of complications and pressure from hospitals to use formula when this experience is completely natural and healthy for the mother and baby, but the process of child birth and care have drastically changed for the worse over the past 100 years when hospitals took control of the birthing process and made it into a business. Now, only 20% of mothers continue breastfeeding 6 months or more after birth, and only 1% births take place at home in the U.S.