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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Breast 'Em Up

Of all the decisions I've made during this first year of parenting, choosing to breastfeed Nate has been one of the best and most rewarding.  Even though it hasn't been without challenges (those first few teeth weren't painful just for him!), it has definitely been a bonding experience and makes me feel good to know that I'm choosing to give him the best.  

Here are the benefits:

1). Easier digestion: Breast milk is meant to be digested by babies' tiny and fragile system.  Formula has made some major advancements in this area, but nothing can compare to mother's milk. 

2). Easier breathing: Breast fed babies develop a larger nasal space, which leads to better sleeping at night and less snoring.  In addition, breast fed babies are less likely to develop sleep apnea later on in life than formula fed babies. 



3).  Nutrients: Because breast milk is made to be digested by babies, it is absorbed into the baby's system at a higher rate.  According to The World Breastfeeding Organization,  "World renowned pediatrician, Dr. Frank Oski, of the John Hopkins school of medicine said he discovered more than four hundred nutrients in human milk not available in formula."

4).  Breast milk is loaded with immunoglobulin A and white blood cells.  These fight against germs that can be found in every day situations, such as airborne viruses and bacteria.  This means you will have a healthier baby and a healthier baby is a happier baby.  



5).  Lower chance of diabetes: Nursing lowers the amount of insulin that is released in babies.  This leads to a lower chance of juvenile diabetes. 

6). Higher IQ: Breast milk is packed with DHA which boosts the brain's development.  While some formula manufacturers have started to include it in formula recipes, the real thing is always better. 



7).  Lower chance of SIDS: While all the reasons for SIDS are yet to be known, "winter-born, male, formula-fed babies" are at the greatest risk (according to the SIDS institute).  If you are already pregnant or have delivered, which of these factors are you able to control?

8).  Tastes better: I haven't done a taste test to confirm, but I've read and heard that breast milk is sweeter and more appealing to the baby.

9).  Healthier skin: DHA and other omega 3 fatty acids contribute to this. Skin conditions, such a eczema are seen less frequently in breast fed babies.

10).  Heightened senses: Since breast milk changes depending on what the mother eats, breast fed babies are exposed to a variety of flavors at a very early age and are likely to be more willing to try new foods when exposed to solids. 



Of course, there are other benefits such as immediate bonding between mother and the baby. Those first few moments of breastfeeding in the hospital, which was a learning experience for both of us, are moments that I will never forget.  

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Disclaimer:
I realize that breastfeeding is not practical or possible for every mother.  This post is in no way intended to make anyone feel bad, but to make those who are in the decision process aware of the benefits.  

10 comments:

  1. Just taking part in the follow me back Tuesday! Please follow me back @ www.romanianprincess.com

    Thanks, Nicole Mariana

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  2. I am your newest follower!
    Please follow back, I would greatly appreciate it!
    Quick Tattletails

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  3. visiting from to the top tuesdays. new follower (:

    i nursed all 4 of my kiddos till they were 1 year. i LOOOOVED it! it's an amazing experience, good for you!

    come visit me sometime. http://lollyjaneboutique.blogspot.com

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  4. Very informative, thank you for posting. Now following you from BM.

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  5. following you from Thursday Blog Hops! loving your blog already! i'd love if you came and joined my blog, too!!

    best,
    april

    www.marineparents.blogspot.com

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  6. Love this post. It's amazing how many benefits there are to breastfeeding! Plus I love how every time I ask her if she wants to nurse and sign, she squeals with delight! So sweet!

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  7. I too love this post! I am your newest follower, found you from twitter :) Love your blog! The design is so classy and sleek. Looking forward to reading more my friend!

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  8. Oh, and I would love for you to follow back if you would like :)

    Marciandlevin.blogspot.com

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  9. I am a new follower. I found you on the weekend blog hop! I hope you can stop by!
    Thanks,
    Alissia
    http://tips4green.blogspot.com

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  10. One of my favorite parts of breastfeeding are the cuddles! I got so much more cuddly time with my active little girl than I would have otherwise! Plus *I* was the only one that could feed her! :-) Pretty selfish, huh? But I loved it. :-)

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