The Advantages and Disadvantages of Breastfeeding
Almost every new mom looks forward to being able to breastfeed her newborn. The main factor for this is they feel it is a special bonding between them and their baby and rightly so. There are many benefits to breastfeeding beyond the bonding for both mom and baby.
What Does the Baby Benefit?
From the baby’s point of view there are some great benefits as nothing really can replace the mother’s milk.
o It seems that the babies that are being breastfed do not split up as much and their bowel movements do not have as much of a foul odor to them as those babies that are on formula. There is more consistency in the baby’s bowel movements so you are not dealing as much with bouts of diarrhea and constipation.
o It is believed that the contents of the mom’s milk reduces a lot of the common problems that often occur with babies. Conditions such as recurrent diaper rashes or other skin breakouts including excessive drying of the skin is not as prominent in breastfed babies.
o There has been evidence to show that there is less learning disabilities and fewer behavior problems with breastfed children.
o It has now been discovered that it can help to protect against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as well as leukemia and some of the childhood cancers. Even juvenile diabetes poses less of a threat with the breastfed babies.
o For the common illnesses such as infections, cold, and viruses it would appear that these babies don’t get them as severely or as often as babies that are fed with other milk.
What Does Mom Benefit?
There is no doubt that breastfeeding moms derive many benefits
o Any Mom that has had a baby with colic will tell you that breastfeeding makes a major difference if they have been able to do the comparison with a formula fed baby.
o Moms seem to be the least apprehensive when breastfeeding and have a much calmer nature. The babies seem to quite enjoy the taste of the milk so there is no fighting them to get them to eat.
o There isn’t near the work of preparing and sterilizing bottles. It is also a great cost saver when one considers the cost of formula nowadays.
o From a medical point of view it has been shown that moms that breastfeed have less risk of some types of cancer such as breast or ovarian cancer. This is because the estrogen levels are very low when mom is breastfeeding. This also creates a delay in the menstrual period. Some mothers that are new to breastfeeding panic when they don’t get their menstrual cycle. This is only because the estrogen levels are low, but there is still the possibility of becoming pregnant.
What Are the Downsides to Breastfeeding?
There is no doubt that the benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh the disadvantages but there a few downsides.
o Mom never gets the chance to rest properly when she is using this method of is the one that has to feed the baby so she will not be able to get someone to give her a little time off to get some much-needed sleep. There is a solution to this though if she has a breast pump to pump the milk and bottle it.
o The moms tend to feel a little more tired because it takes up a lot of energy for the body to produce and manufacture the milk.
o It can be a bit overwhelming and frustrating when first teaching the baby to take to feeding.
o In a sense it seems to leave dad out of the picture and he doesn’t get the opportunity to bond in a similar way as the mom that is breastfeeding does.