Black women’s health.com posted a very informative article about the benefits of breastfeeding. The post also addresses some of the myths about breastfeeding. I found the article to be very informative and I wanted to share it with my readers. It’s completely ok if a woman decides not to breastfeed her baby but I believe that she should make an informed decision before deciding not to do so. In many cases, women don’t breastfeed because of lack of knowledge and support. Please read this post and know that breastfeeding is beautiful, natural and beneficial to mommy and baby. I posted the link below so that you can read the article in full and also review their website.
Breastfeeding Has Many Benefits
Says breastfeeding mother of three sons, Karen Harris, “my children are a lot healthier than their playmates and I know that’s because of the nursing.” Breastfed babies tend to have fewer cases of Chiron’s disease, ear infections, diarrhea, meningitis, tooth decay and childhood diabetes. Studies show that breast milk is important in developing the facial structure, oral make-up and brain growth of babies. Premature infants who are breastfed tend to have a higher IQ than premature babies who are fed infant formula. In addition to the nutritional benefits of breast milk, there is an added emotional benefit as well. Eye and skin contact maintained while nursing gives babies the same sense of security felt in the womb, creating a loving transition into their new world.
Breastfeeding has important societal benefits too. Namely, breast milk is very cost-effective. One of its biggest conveniences is that it is absolutely free. Study after study has shown that if more infants were breastfed, millions of government and HMO dollars would be saved each year. Formula fed infants average $200 more a year in medical expenses than breastfed infants. If an additional one million babies a year were fed breast milk instead of formula, the U.S. could save over a billion dollars in healthcare costs. Imagine the money saved by families whose children are breastfed. Parents spend hundreds of dollars a year buying formula, money that could be put into a college or trust fund. Breastfeeding mothers have fewer cases of being absent from work due to child related illness, which saves companies money in healthcare costs as well.
Dispelling The Myths About Breastfeeding
Myth 1: Breastfeeding is too painful:
While there may be some initial pain as mother and infant get used to the process of breastfeeding, after a week or two, if mother is nursing properly, there should be little if any pain resulting from breastfeeding. Often, women experience pain because the baby is not latched on properly.
Myth 2: Breastfeeding will make the baby too dependent on its mother:
Babies who breastfeed are no more dependant on their mothers than any other baby. They do, however, enjoy the added closeness and security felt only through breastfeeding. In fact, breastfed babies tend to be independent and social.
Myth 3: Breastfeeding is unclean:
Breast milk is very sanitary and is the most perfectly balanced form of nourishment for babies. Moreover, its composition changes with the nutritional needs of infants and toddlers, something that does not occur with formula. Many pediatricians agree that as long as a child is receiving calcium from some source, cow’s milk is not an absolute necessity.
Myth 4: Breastfeeding is not possible for a woman with small breasts:
The size of a woman’s breasts have nothing to do with her ability to produce milk. Breast milk is produced by stimulation of the nipples from infant suckling, regardless of breast size.
Myth 5: Breastfeeding is too time consuming:
Women who nurse agree that breastfeeding is much more timesaving than consuming. There are no formulas to mix, nor any bottles to sanitize, clean and heat. Breast milk is always ready, the right temperature and the perfect amount the baby needs at any given moment. Mothers don’t even have to leave the bed for those nighttime feedings.
Myth 6: Breastfeeding has to stop when a woman returns to work:
Many women enjoy the continued benefits of breastfeeding after they return to work. They can purchase or rent quality breast pumps to pump their milk during the workday. Expressed breast milk can be stored in a refrigerator or cooler (and for months in a freezer) for baby while mom is working. An added benefit of continued breastfeeding upon return to the workplace is that mother and baby have a special bonding time at the beginning and especially at the end of the day.
Kathi Barber, CLEC and Jenise Fonville-Noels, CLEC