Breastfeeding: opinions are still divided about it. Is it better now, or does it not matter? Read these reasons why breastfeeding is the best for your baby and be convinced. Expectant mothers often read about it months before giving birth: breastfeeding? Is it really the best for your child? Doesn’t your child grow up with artificial milk? Yes that’s right. But there are many benefits to breastfeeding. The Organization of American Pediatricians (AAP) recommends breastfeeding for the first 12 months of your child’s life. Not only does breastfeeding contain exactly the right nutrients and antioxidants, it is also convenient from a practical point of view. There is no need to carry bottles and cartons of milk powder; breastfeeding is always available. Although today’s formula will really help your child grow, it still pales in comparison to what natural milk can do for your child. In addition, breast milk is free, unlike expensive formula from the store. Below is a list of reasons why breastfeeding is really best.
Why is breastfeeding best for every child?
- Not breastfeeding increases the risk of breast cancer in the mother. This protective effect is up to 75% more likely
- Giving a baby girl formula with formula increases her risk of developing breast cancer later in life by 25%
- Breast milk is beneficial for brain development and cognitive development
- Breastfeeding contains antibodies against diseases and helps the baby develop an immune system. About 80% of the cells in breast milk are bactericidal, fungal and virucidal
- Breastfeeding is easier to digest compared to formula
- Sucking the baby promotes contraction of the uterus after birth
- Due to the release of the hormone oxytocin, sucking the baby has a good effect on preventing bleeding after delivery
- Losing weight is easier for the mother when breastfeeding. This consumes approximately 500 kcal per day
- Breastfeeding can prevent Crohn’s disease later in life
- Formula feeding increases the child’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes
- Not breastfeeding increases the mother’s risk of ovarian and uterine cancer
- Middle ear infections are up to 4 times more common in children who are not breastfed
- Every month that a child is breastfed reduces the risk of cot death by 50%
- Babies who have been breastfed for at least 6 months have a 30% lower risk of leukemia
- The risk of obesity in breastfed children is 0.8%, compared to 4.5% of formula-fed children.
- A breastfed child’s jaws and teeth develop better
- The stool of a breastfed baby smells healthier than that of an artificially fed baby
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of anemia for the mother
- Babies who are breastfed suffer from spitting up (gastroesophageal reflux: the backing up of food from the esophagus) for a shorter time than babies who are formula fed
Breastfeeding and working
Having a baby changes a lot in your life. Maybe you decide to stop working or work fewer hours in a week. Perhaps that is not possible at all from a financial point of view or you would like to continue working full-time because you get a lot of pleasure from your job. There are ways to continue working and still breastfeed your child.
Take parental leave
Taking parental leave is an example of this. In the Netherlands you have the right to take 26 times the number of hours you work on average per week as parental leave. If you can take this full-time, your baby will be about 9 months old by the time you go back to work. At 9 months he/she is already eating solid food, and combining solid food and breastfeeding is much easier. The decline in your income can be partly offset by the parental leave discount on your income tax.
Working from home
Depending on what kind of job you have, working from home is also an option. You may not be able to do all your work at home, but you can do some of it. For the part of your job that you really have to perform at your workplace, you can optionally express milk. Many companies are now flexible about working from home. Discuss this with your employer and try to find a solution together. Sometimes more is possible than you think.
Are you still unsure whether breastfeeding is something for you? Talk about it with mothers who have faced the same dilemma. Ask why they chose to breastfeed or bottle feed. Ultimately, many mothers agree that nature works this way for a reason. Your midwife can also help you with this question. For women who have a career, breastfeeding is not always the easiest option.
Regarding this decision, the following applies: Nothing is mandatory. Do what feels best for you.