Benefits Of Breastfeeding
Along with saving you money on formula, breastfeeding can also help you to keep your medical bills down. Babies that are fed with formula get sicker more often and more seriously than babies that are breast fed. They also have more ear infections, respiratory infections, and other problems.
This can be even more true if your family has had a history of allergies. When a baby is breast fed, the antibodies pass on from the mother to the baby, helping to protect against illness and allergies. As the baby’s system matures, his body will begin to make it’s own antibodies, and he’ll be more equipped to handle sensitivities of food.
Sucking on the breast will also help with the development or jaw alignment and the development of the cheekbone. For this very reason, there is less
of the need for costly orthodontic work when the child gets older.
Unlike formula, breast milk is always ready, always available, convenient, and always the right temperature for feeding. Plus, it contains all of the vitamins and minerals your growing baby needs, saving you a lot of money.
Breastfeeding also offers many benefits for the mom as well. The baby sucking at the breast will cause contractions right after birth, leading to less bleeding for the mom, and helping her uterus to it’s shape before pregnancy much faster.
Looking to fit back into your pre-baby clothes as soon as possible? Breastfeeding may also burn calories, so a mom can lose weight much faster than if she fed her baby with a bottle. Breastfeeding will also create a special bond with the mother and the baby.
Get More Sleep While Breastfeeding
Besides being the optimal source of nutrition for your baby in her first year, nursing has obvious psychological benefits for both mother and baby. At birth, infants see only 12 to 15 inches, the distance between a nursing baby and its mother’s face. Studies have found that infants as young as 1 week prefer the smell of their own mother’s milk.
Many psychologists believe the nursing baby enjoys a sense of security from the warmth and presence of the mother, especially when there’s skin-to-skin contact during feeding. Parents of bottle-fed babies may be tempted to prop bottles in the baby’s mouth, with no human contact during feeding. But a nursing mother must cuddle her infant closely many times during the day. Nursing becomes more than a way to feed a baby; it’s a source of warmth and comfort.
When the baby is being fed and nurtured in this way, it’s natural for her to fall asleep quickly. When you know how much she can consume in one feeding, try to gently nudge her awake if she falls asleep too soon. You can easily rouse her with a little tickle of the feet. Otherwise, she’ll get hungry sooner and you’ll be feeding her more often.
Breastfeeding is good for new mothers as well as for their babies. There are no bottles to sterilize and no formula to buy, measure and mix. It may be easier for a nursing mother to lose the pounds of pregnancy as well, since nursing uses up extra calories. Lactation also stimulates the uterus to contract back to its original size.
A nursing mother is forced to get needed rest. She must sit down, put her feet up, and relax every few hours to nurse. Nursing at night is easy as well. No one has to stumble to the refrigerator for a bottle and warm it while the baby cries. If she’s lying down, a mother can doze while she nurses.
Avoid Stimulating Your Baby during Night Feedings
As your newborn baby grows, it is slowly acclimating to sleeping at night and being awake during the day. Also, as baby’s stomach is growing and holding more breast milk, he or she will be able to go for longer periods between feedings at night. At around three-months of age your baby will likely sleep about 15 hours out of each 24-hour period, and two-thirds of that sleep will take place during the night. Most babies will have settled into a daily sleep routine of two or three sleep periods during the day, followed by “sleeping through the night” for 6 to 7 hours after a late-night feeding.
You can help adjust your baby’s body clock toward sleeping at night by avoiding stimulation during nighttime feedings and diaper changes. The act of breastfeeding itself provides frequent eye and voice contact, so try to keep the lights low and resist the urge to play or talk with your baby. This will reinforce the message that nighttime is for sleeping. Keeping the door closed to keep out well-meaning but vocal older children, spouses and pet will also reduce stimulating your infant. Avoid the use of musical mobiles or toys as a way to lull your infant back to sleep after night feedings. This will also help to reinforce that night is for sleeping.
And, as with adults, overly tired infants often have more trouble sleeping than those who’ve had an appropriate amount of sleep during the day. So, keeping your baby up thinking that he or she will sleep better at night may not work. You may find that when your infant sleeps at regular intervals during the day, it will be easier to put them back down to sleep after night-time feedings.
Are you having trouble breastfeeding? Check out our article The Truth About Breastfeeding and What Most Moms Don’t Tell You.