Becoming a parent changes your life forever in more ways than you can imagine. Becoming a parent also requires you to make so many decisions, sometimes before you are ready to make them. One of the first decisions you will have to make as a mother is whether or not to breastfeed your baby. Consider these benefits of breastfeeding that may perhaps help make your decision an easy one.
Breastfeeding Helps You Lose Pregnancy Weight
Whether you gained 25 pounds or 45 pounds during pregnancy, breastfeeding can help you shed that weight faster than if you opt for formula feeding. Simply feeding your baby can burn up to an additional 500 calories each day! So, giving your baby the best possible nutrition also jump starts your weight loss program, and you don’t even have to set foot in the gym. That is definitely something to smile about.
Breastfeeding Saves You Money
Formula costs money. Breastfeeding is free. Since you probably spent a boatload of money on clothing, baby equipment, furniture and diapers before your baby even arrived, choosing to breastfeed will start you back on the path to saving money. And, that’s something to be happy about, too.
Breastfeeding is Easy and Convenient
All you need is yourself, your baby, clothing that allows you easy access, and perhaps a nursing or feeding pillow for added comfort, and you are ready to feed your baby anytime, anywhere. With a newborn, whenever you leave the house, there is already more than enough baby gear you need to worry about packing for your outing. When you breastfeed, you won’t need to worry about taking along cans of powdered formula, bottles, measuring cups, or fresh water. And, you’ll never have to find somewhere to heat up a bottle. Breast milk is always the perfect temperature, the perfect amount, and conveniently goes wherever you go.
Breastfeeding Releases Hormones and Endorphins
Nursing produces two hormones: oxytocin and prolactin. One helps make more milk to keep up with your baby’s supply needs, the other helps with letdown – or milk ejection. Oxytocin also helps the mother’s uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size, plus it is the “feel good” hormone that facilitates the bonding experience between mother and baby. When oxytocin is released into the mother’s system while her baby is nursing, mom literally falls in love with her baby, thus forming a close, caring, nurturing bond.
There are so many benefits to breastfeeding. If you will soon become a new mom, you may want to consider the above reasons to nurse your baby. Do some research to read even more about the advantages of breastfeeding over formula feeding, such as nutrition and other positive developmental effects. Ultimately, you should do what is best for both you and your newborn. Chances are, if you give breastfeeding a chance, you and your baby will both be happier now and in the long run.
Writer and mother of four, Melanie Fleury knows firsthand the great benefits that breastfeeding can offer. With just her feeding pillow and a comfy chair, she used the time to bond with the newest addition to the family.