Globally, breastfeeding is promoted as “the BEST source of infant nutrition.” Breastfeeding is a complete nutrition that is easy for the baby to digest, which promotes the child eating more often due to faster digestion. The benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition. In addition to containing all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of life, breast milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect your baby from illness.
It also helps in the jaw development of the baby; because breastfeeding is more difficult than bottle feeding, it helps strengthen the child’s jaw.
What are the Advantages of breastfeeding?
· Breast milk is the only natural food designed for your baby.
· Breastfeeding protects your baby from infections and diseases.
· It decreases allergies
· It decreases the risk of SIDS
· It is free.
· It is available whenever and wherever your baby needs a feed.
· It is the right temperature.
· It can build a strong physical and emotional bond between you and your baby.
· It can give you a great sense of achievement.
· Less chance of diarrhea and vomiting for your baby
· Fewer chest and ear infections for your baby
· Less chance of your baby being constipated
· Less likelihood of your baby becoming obese and therefore developing type 2 diabetes and other illnesses later in life
· Less chance of your baby developing eczema
· Lowers mom risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer
· Helps in uterine shrinkage
· Decreases depression
· Decreases risk of osteoporosis
· Naturally uses up to 500 calories a day thus helping you to lose weight naturally
· Saves money – infant formula, the sterilizing equipment and feeding equipment can be costly
· Exclusive breastfeeding can also delay the return of your periods
What are the disadvantages of breast feeding?
1. There can be discomfort involved with breastfeeding. When you first start breastfeeding, you may experience sore nipples. For the entirety of your breastfeeding endeavors, your breasts may feel swollen or engorged.
2. You may leak milk at times that are inconvenient or embarrassing. When the baby cries, you almost immediately start producing milk. If you aren’t prepared for this properly, it can be inconvenient or embarrassing.
3. Feeding your baby in public may be more difficult. While public acceptance of breastfeeding is improving, there are still some situations where you need to cover yourself while breastfeeding – despite how hot it is outdoors.
4. Everything you consume is being passed on to your baby. Any food you eat, medication you use, or anything that you are applying to your skin can and most likely will be passed onto your baby through breastfeeding.
5. You need special clothing and bras for breastfeeding. Nursing bras are expensive, and you will also need shirts that button up the front in most cases. While these bras are more comfortable these days, they don’t offer the greatest comfort in the world.
6. Your baby will start sprouting teeth at some point. This can be very painful. Prepare to be bitten when your baby starts cutting teeth. If you look at the nipple on a baby bottle after a teething baby has used it, you can see that he or she has been essentially rubbing their gums – with those sharp little stubs of teeth – on the nipple.
7. The shape and appearance of your breasts can change. While this doesn’t happen to all women, most women report that their nipples become larger and change colors, and some women experience sagging breasts earlier when they breastfeed their babies.
8. The father may feel excluded. This is usually remedied by pumping the milk and placing it in a bottle so that the father can feed the child, but without this effort, the father could very well feel excluded and may fail to properly bond with the baby.
9. The ability to produce, pump and store enough milk can be a problem. If your child goes to the babysitter or daycare, you will need to pump and store enough breast milk in advance. If you don’t produce enough milk to store milk, and to keep the baby fed, this can be a big issue.
10. You can’t measure how much milk your baby is consuming. Some babies need more milk than others, while some need less. Unless you are pumping the milk and measuring it with a bottle, you won’t have any real measure of how much milk your baby is consuming.