Thursday, March 28, 2013

101 Reasons Why You Should Breastfeed Your Baby!

Welcome to the Breastfeeding Support Blog Party!  
Bloggers around the world have gathered together to share posts which provide current or soon-to-be breastfeeding mothers with a wealth of well-researched information, personal stories, and statistics designed to help you have the most successful breastfeeding experience possible. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to learn more about this movement as well as to link to and read more informative breastfeeding support posts.

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I consider breastfeeding to be one of my biggest achievements. I am totally passionate about it, and try to promote it however I can. If you need any encouragement, here's 101 reasons why you should be breastfeed your baby!

1. Breastmilk is nutritionally perfect for your baby


The unique composition of your milk is perfectly suited to the specific growth requirements of your baby, ensuring the correct quantities and types of nutrients for healthy development, at all stages of development.

2. It is virtually impossible to overfeed an exclusively breastfed baby


Formula babies tend to put on weight more quickly than breastfed babies, however we all know that optimum growth does not equal putting on as much weight as possible in the shortest amount of time. When you breastfeed your baby, he takes exactly what he needs and in turn your body responds by producing the right quantity of milk. Studies have shown that slower infant growth rates make for slower ageing in adulthood, and whilst your baby may get nice and plump on formula they may be starving at a cellular level. 

3. Your baby will have fewer infections, including viral infections.


Breastmilk contains factors that protects your baby from infection. Numerous studies have shown that breastfed babies do not get sick as often as formula fed babies, and even when they do fall ill their average recovery rate is much faster. Dr John McDougall points out the risk of influenza ans spinal meningitis for formula fed babies is as much as sixteen times greater than the risk for breastfed babies.

Breastfeeding Image
Photo Courtesy of Marisa from Hippie Safari, photographed by Melissa van Zyl

4. Your baby will suffer from fewer allergic ailments


Although it is possible for a baby to develop colic, eczema, asthma or other allergic conditions whilst exclusively breastfeeding, chances are minimised dramatically. If you find your baby is reacting to something in your milk, give the elimination diet a try.

5. Your baby is less likely to suffer from obesity


The July 1999 issue of the British Medical Journal reported a study in which German children nourished exclusively with breastmilk during the first 3 to 5 months of life were less likely to suffer from obesity when they reached school age than those raised on other foods.

6. Less chance of your baby developing heart disease later in life


Cholesterol is present in most body tissue and is an important constituent of cell membranes. It is needed for healthy bone formation, hormone synthesis and for brain and central nervous function. The high levels of cholesterol in breastmilk serves to establish lower cholesterol levels in adulthood.

7. Your baby will suffer from less dental decay


It has been shown that dental decay is lower in breastfed babies than in formula fed ones.

8. Your baby will have better jaw and mouth development


Studies have shown than breastfed babies have fewer jaw and mouth problems than babies who are bottle fed. Abnormal action is required of the muscles in a baby's mouth and tongue when sucking and swallowing from a bottle.

9. Your baby will have less chance of developing diabetes later in life


It has been proven that dairy products increase a child's risk of juvenile diabetes considerably, and most formulas are dairy based. Remember to eliminate dairy from your diet too, as cows milk protein is passed to baby from breastmilk.

10. Your baby will suffer less exposure to stronium 90


Stronium 90 is a heavy radioactive material from nuclear fallout, it is reportedly more concentrated in bottled formulas and animal milks than in breastmilk.

11. Breastmilk contains lower quantities of herbicides, pesticides and dioxins than dairy based formulas


Artificial baby milks are more contaminated than breastmilk, in different ways. They have been found to contain pthalates, bisphenol A, aluminum and heavy metals, GM ingredients, phytoestrogens and spore bacteria. Any increase in artificial feeding would result in greater contamination of the environment.  (babymilkaction.org)

12.  You will have less chance of contracting pre-menopausal breast cancer


Mothers who breastfeed have significantly lower risk of breast cancer later in life as do breastfed babies. 

13. You and your baby will be calmer


Breastfeeding triggers the release of stress-relieving hormones which are also passed through your milk to your baby.

14. Your baby will have a higher IQ


Breastmilk is perfectly formulated for maximum neurological growth, it contains perfect quantities of GLA and DHA whilst most formulas do not contain them at all. DHA is the essential long-chain omega-3 fatty acid needed for brain development and the fatty acid found in highest concentration in the brain. A deficiency of DHA is associated with lower IQ.

15. Your baby will have better bone growth


Tests have shown that breastfed babies develop about 90% of bone growth expected at nine months, whereas formula fed babies only have 50% of their bone growth by that time. This is due to the perfect quantity of protein found in breastmilk as opposed to dairy formulas.

16. Your uterus will shrink quicker


Your uterus normally contracts more rapidly when breastfeeding your baby, due to hormones released.

17. Your baby will suffer from less winds, need less burping and is less likely to suffer from colic


Baby will need less burping from a breastfeeding mom because he won't swallow as much air.

18. You will save TONS of money


Breastfeeding is free, other than a healthy diet and a few supplements. Formula on the other hand is very pricey, and if you go with the healthiest option (organic, goats milk formula) then it becomes almost unaffordable.

19. You will have TONS of free time


Breastfeeding saves you from having to prepare bottles, sterilise them, pack a feeding bag when going out. Breastfeeding is the ultimate convenience and you will have much more time to spend snuggling your baby. 

20. Your baby will be more well-adjusted


Psychological tests have shown that breastfed children are better adjusted. They are held very near to mother in her arms. Baby will hear your breathing and frequent feedings that breastfeeding requires will ensure than your baby gets the nourishment and the attention it requires.

21. Your baby will be more in tune with its natural needs of nutrition and comfort


If you feed on demand and keep baby off a feeding schedule your baby will inform you when it needs nutrition or comfort, resulting in a healthier, more relaxed baby.

22. Your baby will have less chance of suffering from constipation


It takes much more energy to digest formula than the little energy required to digest human breastmilk and excess protein found in formula will come out in baby's stools making them big and bulky.

23. Your baby's pooh will smell sweeter and you will have to change less nappies


Breastmilk results in fewer and sweeter smelling stools, it is not abnormal for a breastfed baby to go a couple of days without doing a pooh due to the small quantities of waste produced from breastmilk.

24. Your baby will receive perfect nutrition for each growth and development stage


The composition of breastmilk changes as baby grows, this is why milk banks try to match the babies ages with the donors and is also why milk obtained from milk banks is still preferable to formula.

25. Your baby will have less chance of being deficient in any nutrients


When formula was first being developed there was one that was lacking in Vitamin B6, no-one knew that B6 was present in breastmilk. Many babies had convulsions and died. There are many nutrients not yet identified in breastmilk, and formula is lacking in all of them.

26. Your baby will have less chance of developing eye problems


Although the protein content of breastmilk is relatively low (as opposed to dairy milk), the types of amino acids that form these proteins are crucial. One of these amino acids, taurine, is abundant in breastmilk. Studies have shown that taurine is important in the development of the brain and eyes.

27. Your baby will get all he needs for adequate weight gain and growth


The 6% protein content of breastmilk is perfect for growth and development for most of baby's first year, you will not need to supplement his diet with any other foods until at least 6 months of age. Dairy milk contains 15% protein, for the growth and development needed by calves to make them into big and bulky cows, it is no wonder that formula fed babies put weight on more quickly, but as I previously stated, putting on as much weight as possible in the shortest amount of time does not equal optimum nutrition.

28. Your child will have a stronger immune system


Colostrum contains huge amounts of immune-boosting antibodies, proteins peptides and transfer factor. Transfer factor appears to transfer information to major immune cells about specific pathogens. The cells destroy these pathogens if they are ever encountered As your newborn suckles, all of these nutrients are absorbed through the baby's permeable intestine. After about six hours, the baby's gut seals up and the colostrum becomes sweet with sugar. Mucus begins to line your baby's intestines and the sugar feeds the microflora. The microflora then stick to the mucus. This is how babies get a fully functioning immune system.1

29. The bond between you and your baby will be stronger


Breastfeeding stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin in the mother's body. "It is now well established that oxytocin, as well as stimulating uterine contractions and milk ejection, promotes the development of maternal behavior and also bonding between mother and offspring."Uvnas-Moberg, Eriksson: Breastfeeding: physiological, endocrine and behavioral adaptations caused by oxytocin and local neurogenic activity in the nipple and mammary gland.: Acta Paediatrica, 1996 May, 85(5):525-30

30. Your daughter will have less chance of developing breast cancer later in life


Women who were formula-fed as infants have higher rates of breast cancer as adults. For both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, women who were breastfed as children, even if only for a short time, had a 25% lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who were bottle-fed as infants.

31. Your baby will pass meconium quicker and more efficiently


Babies are born with a sticky tar-like substance called meconium in their intestines. Colostrum, is a laxative and gets rid of all traces of it quickly.

32. You will suffer less post-partum hemorrhage


Breastfeeding causes your body to release oxytocin, which stimulates contractions which help shrink the uterus back to pre-pregnancy size while expelling the placenta. These contractions also shut off the maternal blood vessels that formerly fed the baby and discourage excessive bleeding. Women who choose not to breastfeed must be given synthetic oxytocin to insure against hemorrhaging.

33. You will lose your baby weight faster


Breastfeeding burns as many as 500 - 800 calories per day.

34. The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend it


"...breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; ... it forms a unique biological and emotional basis for the health of both mother and child; ...the anti-infective properties of breast milk help to protect infants against disease; and ... there is an important relationship between breastfeeding and child spacing".

(See The WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes).

35. Your baby will have less chance of developing Crohn's disease


Research has indicated that Crohn's disease is linked to the type of feeding a baby receives and especially with the early introduction of solids.

36. If you suffer from endometriosis, you will benefit from breastfeeding


Breastfeeding stabilizes the progress of endometriosis.

37. You will have less chance of developing ovarian cancer


Research suggests that breastfeeding lessens the chance of a women developing ovarian cancer.

38. Your baby will suffer from less ear infections


Dairy is mucous forming and one of the main contributors to childhood ear infections. Read more here.

39. Your baby will be less likely to die from SIDS


Formula feeding may increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

40. In this instance, size does NOT matter


Breastfeeding is possible no matter what your cup size, big or small they will produce milk for your baby.

41. You will be lightening your carbon footprint


Breastmilk is delivered to baby without the use of any packaging or waste.

42. You will have a key toddler tantrum soother


An integral part of your child's development includes those big emotional tantrums, breastfeeding is an instant soother, no matter what the situation.

43. Your baby will have less reliance on artificial soothers


With the attention and comfort that breastfeeding supplies, your baby will have less need for pacifiers, comfort blankets and dolls.

44. Your child will have better speech development


As with the jaw and mouth formation, the muscles used for suckling at the breast ensure great speech development for later in life.

45. The ozone layer will thank you


We have all heard about how the methane gases produced by cows are destroying our ozone layer. Breastfeeding eliminates the need for dairy in your child's diet.

46. Your monthly periods will stay away for longer


Mine only came back when Jesse was 18 months old, although this is dependent on your body and your feeding routine.

47. You can have unprotected sex for up to 6 months


If you plan it correctly, this is possible. Although I wouldn't personally chance it unless you don't mind Irish twins ;)

48. Going out of the house does not become an hour long planning marathon


You will not need to pack a feeding bag at all, period.

49. Your breasts will be gorgeous


Breastfeeding breasts are full and you will get porno nipples, this makes up for what you will lose in perkiness ;) (at least whilst you are still feeding)

50. Your baby has less chance of suffering from diabetes (type I)


Studies show that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 5 months with no formula given had lower rates of type I diabetes.

51. You will be using your breasts for what nature intended


There is nothing more natural than breastfeeding.

52. You can help normalising breastfeeding


It is unfortunate that bottle feeding has become more socially accepted than breastfeeding, get on board and help change this for future generations.

53. You will be giving your baby a great tasting meal


Breastmilk is sweet and fragrant, whilst formula tastes awful!

54. You will be providing your premature baby with the best nutrition


Pre-term breastmilk is nutritionally perfect for premature babies

55. If you are diabetic, you will benefit from breastfeeding


Breastfeeding helps to decrease the insulin requirements for diabetic mothers.

56. You will enjoy optimum child-spacing, naturally


See my note about menstrual cycles not returning above, depending on the length and frequency you breastfeed for.

57. You will be saving the government and tax payers millions


This doesn't sound like a great reason, until you realise that in turn it, will be saving you.

58. You will make less visits to the doctor


Jesse has never been to the doctor, he has been to the emergency room once for a spider bite but that is it. See notes above on increased immunity.

59. You will be less likely to abuse your child


This is always a plus, thanks to feel good, calming hormones released.

60.Your baby will be exposed to different tastes and flavour pre-starting solids.


Flavours will transfer through your breastmilk.

61. You will get more sleep


No having to getup to prepare bottles etc in the middle of the night.

62. Your house will be less cluttered


Breastfeeding means less equipment to be stored and organised.

63. You will never have to worry about which the best brand of formula or worry about recalls.


Breastmilk is always best.

64. You will not need to worry about contaminated water


Formula feeding increases the exposure to contaminated water, especially while traveling etc.

65. Your baby will have great skin


Breastmilk equals less baby acne and other skin complaints

66. You'll have less chance of developing Schizophrenia


Always a good thing, due to feel good hormones.

67. Your baby will smell gorgeous


Nothing like a whiff of a breastfeeding baby

68. You'll have a natural all-purpose, incredibly useful liquid at your disposal


Breastmilk has over 58 uses!

69.Your baby will have less chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis


Breastmilk is alkaline whilst most formulas are acid forming and this could increase chances of arthritis

70. Your baby will have a healthier gut


Babies can digest human milk more easily than the milk of other animals, probably because human milk contains an enzyme that aids in this process.

71. You will have less chance of developing maternal osteoporosis later in life


The odds that a woman with osteoporosis did not breastfeed her baby was 4 times higher than for a control woman. Blaauw, R. et al. "Risk factors for development of osteoporosis in a South African population." SAMJ 1994; 84:328-32

72. Your baby will be less likely to suffer cardiopulmonary distress while feeding


Bottle-fed babies are at increased risk of cardiopulmonary disturbances, including prolonged airway closure and obstructed respiratory breaths due to repeated swallowing. Koenig HS, Davies Am, Thach BT. "Coordination of breathing, sucking and swallowing during bottle feedings in human infants." J Appl Physiol 69: 1629: 1623-1629, 1990.

Infants can experience oxygen saturation below 90% when bottle feeding. Nine of 50 healthy term infants in one study experienced bradycardia during bottle feeding. Six of these episodes were preceded by apnea, three showed hypopnea (marked reduction in ventilation) and one had central apnea (no respiratory efforts).

Matthew O, Clark ML, Ponske MH. Apnea, bradycardia, and cyanosis during oral feeding in term neonates." J Pediatr 106:857, 198

73. If your baby needs surgery, they will only need to fast for a much shorter time period 


Breastfeeding may continue until three hours before arrival time at the hospital in healthy children having elective surgery.

74. If you do decide to vaccinate, breastfeeding is best.


Breastmilk enhances vaccines effectiveness and soothes inflammation and any infections that may occur.

75. You can be lazy, whilst looking like an amazing mom


It is SO much easier to breastfeed rather the prepping bottles, cleaning bottles, sterilising bottles etc. You can literally lie in bed with your newborn and let the housework pile up, and no-one will think badly of you ;)

76. No need for bottle warming contraptions


Breastmilk is always the right temperature

77. No need for electricity full stop


Breastmilk will not need to be refrigerated etc unless pumped

78. Your baby will be getting species specific milk


Cows milk is designed for calves, breastmilk for human babies.

79. You will have a natural pain reliever


Breastmilk contains endorphins acting as a natural pain killer for teething pain etc.

80. If your baby does become sick, there is no need for supplements


Breastmilk is easier on the digestive tract than formula and contains antibodies and nutrients needed.

81. You and your baby will not be contributing to cruelty on animal farms


Cows are subjected to the most inhumane living conditions so that we can ingest billions of litres of their milk a day.

82. You will have less mess to clean


Breastfed babies' nappies are easier to clean and its also easier to clean up breastmilk spit-up

83. Your baby will have less exposure to GM products


Breastmilk contains no GM products, although these could pass through your milk, so eat organic.

84. Your baby will be receiving no artificial growth hormones


Cows are routinely given growth hormones which make their way into their milk.

85. Your child will have less chance of developing Multiple Sclerosis


Studies have shown a correlation between being formula fed and contracting MS.

86. Your baby has less chance of developing an inguinal hernia



Breastfeeding is protective against inguinal hernias. For unknown reasons breastfed babies experience significantly fewer of them. Human milk contains gonadotropin releasing hormone, which may affect the maturation of neonatal testicular function. One recent case control study showed breastfed infants had a significant dose response reduction in inguinal hernia. Pisacane, A. "Breast-feeding and inguinal hernia" Journal of Pediatrics 1995:

Vol 127, No. 1, pp 109-111


87. Your baby will be less likely to develop urinary tract infections


Due to the alkaline nature and antibacterial properties of breastmilk

88. You will be less likely to suffer from anemia


Since many exclusively breastfeeding mothers do not begin to menstruate for a year or longer their iron stores are not depleted by monthly bleeding.

89. You will spend less money on menstrual supplies


I had more than a two year break from periods, what a saving!

90. You will have a more confident child


Due to the constant comfort and attention breastfeeding gives the your child, he will feel less need to demand it.

91. You can save other babies' lives


You have the choice and opportunity to donate milk to babies in need.

92. You will have a natural fever reducer


Breastmilk will keep him hydrated and provide antibodies

93. Its one less thing to feel mothers guilt about


With motherhood comes an ever increasing load of associated guilt, from letting your child watch TV to him falling off the bed. This is one less thing to worry about.

94. You will be less likely to suffer from insomnia


Breastfeeding triggers the release of prolactin which relaxes you enough for you to become drowsy

95. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you breastfeed.


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that your baby begin breastfeeding within the first hour of life and that they only receive breastmilk until they are older. It's also recommended by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.

96. You will be less likely to develop baby blues


The release of feel good hormones can decrease the likelihood of suffering from PPD. 

97. You will have a less fussy eater later in life


The flavours transferred through breastmilk set your child up to enjoy a variety of foods.

98. Your nights will be less stressful, for mom, baby and dad


Because baby's needs are met quickly and with ease, they will go back to sleep quicker and with less fuss.

99. Using cloth nappies is a breeze, lowering your carbon footprint even more


As I have said, breastmilk pooh is a breeze.

100. You will feel like a superhero!


When people compliment you on your healthy, plump six month old (or 10 month old) you will feel amazing knowing that it is all you!





1 Evie's Kitchen by Shazzie

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This gathering of breastfeeding support comes in response to the Weston A. Price Foundation’s (WAPF) continued stance on breastfeeding, which we all have a great concern with. While the WAPF does support breastfeeding as the best option for feeding babies, it does so with a caveat. Breastfeeding mothers must follow the strict tenants of the WAPF diet and mothers who are not following their nutrient dense diet recommendations would be better off feeding their babies homemade formula (based on the WAPF recipe). In addition, they are outspoken against using donor milk. The bloggers sharing posts today are concerned with the confusion this may cause breastfeeding mothers. Not only does research support the myriad of health benefits of breast milk for babies regardless of the mother’s diet, it also outlines additional benefits of breastfeeding such as better bonding, deeper trust, and a long list of other emotional benefits. Let’s not forget the health benefits for moms!

8 comments:

  1. Awesome, awesome post! Pinning it now.

    Thanks for hosting the linky!

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  2. This is an awesome post! I am linking it to my facebook page. I love finding kindred spirit breastfeeding advocates.

    www.adventureswithcaptaindestructo.com

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  3. So glad to read number 35. Since I myself have Crohn's disease, I feel like breastfeeding my babes as long as possible and having my family maintain a healthy diet is all I can do to try to fight genetics for them!

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  4. What an awesome link party! I have a series on my blog called 'Where I breastfeed'. I only linked one of these posts and you can find the rest of them on my blog.

    afairytalecomesalive.blogspot.com

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  5. This is such a great breastfeeding resource! Thanks for putting it together!

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  6. All awesome except the porno nipple thing...

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  7. All awesome except that porno nipple thing...yuck

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I love comments! Thank you for making me smile! :)