Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Many Benefits of Breastfeeding


I'm a strong supporter of breastfeeding and I don't see why any woman would choose NOT to breastfeed. At the same time, I do understand that there might be a lot of pain involved and that some are just incapable of doing it. I myself might run into problems with it when the time comes but that's another matter. I still fully support it. Not only does it benefit the baby in so many ways but it also benefits the mom! The following article in Women's Health is just one example of the benefits of breastfeeding:

Wonder-Twin Powers
You may have heard that nursing is best for a baby, but new evidence shows that it can offer major benefits for Mom too. Experts had speculated that breastfeeding might provide some protection against breast cancer, but according to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, its cancer-fighting power may be more potent than anyone previously imagined. Researchers found that among women with a family history of the disease, those who had breastfed were 59 percent less likely to develop breast cancer as those who had not. The reduction in risk was similar whether the women nursed for a lifetime total of just three months or for more than three years and regardless of whether they supplemented their breast milk with other foods.

Thanks to a friend of mine, who is a strong supporter of breastfeeding and a breastfeeding mother to a two year old son (yes, you can breastfeed for as long as you want!), I have found other very informative articles about breastfeeding that I'd like to share with you. The first one is about the many health benefits that mom's get from breasfeeding and you can view it here. The second one is comparing breast milk to formula. It can be found here. Very informative.

Speaking of formula, did you know that infant formula is nearly a four billion dollar industry in the U.S.? Why is this? Most likely because women aren't being educated enough about the benefits of breastfeeding and give up way too soon when it doesn't go smoothly for them right away. We are a lazy nation after all . . . Well, here to help us all is a new documentary called Formula Fed America and you can visit their website for more information. Check out the little clip at the beginning as well. (No, I'm not getting paid to advertise this. I'm simply doing it because I think it's ridiculous that so many people are resorting to formula without any thought.)

At the end of the day, no one can tell a mom what she should do with her infant or how she should feed him/her. But before you make any decision, at least inform yourself of all the options out there. Who knows, you might just learn a thing or two that will benefit you and your family in more ways than you could ever imagine.

2 comments:

  1. I agree...it's very beneficial, but there are times when a mom simply can't. I had two friends who had to stop -- one because her baby wasn't getting enough nutrients from her milk and the other because it was VERY painful for her and she was in tears every time she tried. In both cases, they stopped on doctor's orders for the sake of the baby and both times, they were given major flak by other moms. "Well, that's too bad because you're missing a major bonding opportunity with your child." That sort of thing. I couldn't BELIEVE how rude people were about something these moms were already upset about.

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