Many mothers who experience the miracle of their first childbirth will want to do things the old-fashioned way–and that means breastfeeding. Sometimes they just feel more comfortable doing it themselves instead of relying on commercial goods that may or may not provide any long-term benefits. The good news is this: breastfeeding definitely has all sorts of positive impacts for your child. Here are just a few.
When you breastfeed, your child’s immune system continues to strengthen. This leads to a much lower incidence rate of the common cold, pneumonia, and a number of other dangerous viruses. Further down the road, your child is less likely to develop type I diabetes, or autoimmune problems like celiac and Crohn’s disease.
One thing that every mother should know in a country with a growing rate of obesity–you and your child are both less likely to become overweight if you breastfeed. Heck, even just the activity itself is eliminating potentially unwanted calories from your body. Each ounce of breast milk contains about twenty calories. Evacuate, evacuate!
Another nice benefit that you won’t get if you don’t breastfeed is a break. When you breastfeed, your body churns out prolactin, which helps reduce the likelihood of ovulation. Once you stop breastfeeding, your hormones will bounce back to normal levels and it’s back to a normal menstruation cycle. Whether you stop or not, your hormones will probably turn back on by the time a year has elapsed.
Natural nursing can help you pick up on cues you might miss if you rely too much on formula. You might not figure out when the little one is all done if you’re not there to experience the tiny nibbles yourself. This can help feeding when it’s time to transition away from breastfeeding.
Besides the health benefits afforded by natural breastfeeding, it’s a great financial choice as well. You’ll learn to allocate funds better, but you won’t have to worry as much about the cost of formula, which can cost thousands every year you use it.
If you’re an environmentalist, breastfeeding might even be helping the planet. Because cattle contribute to climate change by belching and farting methane–a powerful greenhouse gas–into the atmosphere, breastfeeding might reduce the need for more cattle production since the alternative uses this resource to produce formula.
Depending on where you choose to nurse your child, it may be a civil right violation if someone tries to prevent you from doing so. No matter where you choose to breastfeed, you’re protected. All states have laws securing this right, and none require that you cover yourself or find a more private area to nurse your child. If anyone tries to get in the way of you while you feed your child, you should not tolerate it–especially because there are so many benefits of doing things the natural way!