I nursed my girls for two years and as I look back on my decision, I’m so glad I did. Breastfeeding isn’t an automatic choice for women, some experience complications or take medications and cannot, while others desire not too; regardless of the reason it is up to the mother to decide what is best for her child or children. For me, my desire to nurse was almost as large as my desire to have children. Recently, I took some time to reflect on my decision and let you why I chose to breastfeed.
My top 5 Reasons to Breastfeed
1. Higher IQ. Studies show that the DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) provided by mother is not only the best source for babies but it also increases a child’s IQ and may help improve their attention spans. DHA is the fatty tissue that makes up the brain and provides a brain-booster because it contains natural Omega 3 fatty acids. According to Ask Dr. Sears website “Children who were breastfed have I.Q. scores averaging seven to ten points higher than formula-fed infants. ”
2. Stronger Immune Systems. I also wanted my children to be healthier. Prior to having kids, I heard that children who were breastfed have stronger immune systems. One mother even told me that although her child does catch a cold occasionally, it usually only lasted a day or two rather than a full week like most children. I also recalled one of Time magazine’s article by Dr. Sanjay Gupta stated “There is simply no better food for newborns. Breast-fed babies have lower rates of hospital admission, ear infection, diarrhea, rashes, allergies and other medical problems than bottle-fed tots.” I knew that I really didn’t want to deal with sickly children so I had to choose a preventative method to keep them healthy that was proven to work. I’m happy to say, so far I am pleased with the results, my kids rarely get sick and when they do, it doesn’t last long.
3. Ease of Digestion. Breast milk is the most natural milk for babies. Here was my reasoning, my child is not a baby cow, so I don’t want to give her milk that will make her big and bovine. LOL, seriously, all sorts of things go through your mind when you’re having children. Early on, I had to supplement because I didn’t know how to breast feed my twins immediately after I gave birth, so the hospital gave them formula until a lactation consultant appeared on the day I was discharged. Immediately, I noticed major differences in their waste and learned how to breastfeed whole-heartedly so I could stop supplementing with formula. Their little bodies had a hard-time digesting the milk and their little poop was darker and didn’t smell as mild compared to when they only had breast-milk. Robert Chapkin from Texas A&M University, reported
While we found that the microbiome of breast-fed infants is significantly enriched in genes associated with ‘virulence’, including resistance to antibiotics and toxic compounds, we also found a correlation between bacterial pathogenicity and the expression of host genes associated with immune and defense mechanisms…Our findings suggest that human milk promotes the beneficial crosstalk between the immune system and microbe population in the gut, and maintains intestinal stability. (Source)
4. Increased Bonding. Being a new mom to two babies can be overwhelming at first. Breastfeeding gave me an opportunity to bond with each child separately. The skin-to-skin contact also promoted growth in my girls who were premature at birth. Studies show that skin to skin contact help babies latch on better and develop a normal body temperature as well as other benefits. (Source)
5. It’s Healthier for Mom Too. Of course there may be exceptions to every rule, but overall breastfeeding has a lot of health and cost benefits for mothers too. Some of the benefits include: delayed menstrual cycle, money saved by reducing the need for bottle supplies, helps stomach muscles contract which encourages weight loss, lessens the risk for certain cancers such as ovarian, breast, and uterine cancer. Lastly, breastfeeding feels like the right choice so mentally is it stimulating and comforting. At first, I was exhausted, but once I got the hang of it, I felt empowered.
Reader Response: What are some reasons you decided to or not to breast feed?