Deciding to breast feed or not can be a difficult decision, and often mom has no control over the outcome. If you arent sure which you want to do, read these powerful facts!
To bottle or breastfeed your baby; That is the question and everyone seems to have weighed in on the discussion.
At one time this may have been a dialogue which transpired within your family and with your physician. No longer. While the decision to breast or bottle feed is still one best made by the nursing parent/s, many agencies have an opinion on the matter.
The resources afforded to one making the decision are vast. And by the way, the La Leche League is not the only agency speaking out on the benefits of breastfeeding. To name a few, The Center for Disease Control, The Health and Human Service Office for Women’s Health, The United States Breastfeeding Committee, and even the USDA. Are you astonished that breastfeeding is a national concern?
In the late fifties breastfeeding was at an all time low in the United States. The number of nursing mothers had dropped to nearly twenty percent. This statistic was partly the reason behind the formation of the La Leche League in 1956. Since that time breastfeeding has more than caught on in the United States, as evidenced by the many organizations dedicated to preaching its benefits. “The percentage of infants who were ever breastfed increased from 60% among infants who were born in 1993-1994 to 77% among infants who were born in 2005-2006”, this according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Still, if you are in the throws of deciding between bottle and breast feeding, do not make a decision based on ‘everybody’s doing it.” The following is true of nursing infants and their mothers:
- Babies who breastfeed receive natural antibodies from their mothers milk.
These antibodies fight disease and assist newborns and infants when they are most vulnerable. Antibodies found in breast milk have been proven to ward off ear and respiratory infections, types 1 and 2 diabetes, stomach viruses and even sudden infant death syndrome.
- There are health benefits to the nursing mother.
Recent studies conclude that breastfeeding cuts the risk of ovarian and breast cancer, as well as diabetes and even post partum depression. While there are no guarantees these findings are encouraging. Oh yes, in addition to fighting disease, nursing mothers lose their tummies faster, since the uterus contracts during breastfeeding. (internal sit-ups)
- Babies who breastfeed have fewer hospital visits
Newborns who are breastfed in the hospital, (including pre-term babies) have fewer returns to the hospital after their original release.
Breastfeeding bonds mom to baby and baby to mom.Packed tightly in the womb, babies have become accustomed to what is warm and snuggly. They are generally ushered into the world under bright lights and cold surfaces.(cold by the womb’s standards) A newborn may not know a lot, but is keenly aware of who their mother is. They immediately know her smell and touch. The closeness and physical contact provided through breastfeeding culminates in security for the infant.
- Breastfeeding your infant saves money
Bottle feeding your baby will cost several thousand dollars a year. This depends on the type of formula purchased. The cost may vary for powdered or liquid formulas. Don’t forget to include the costs of paraphernalia associated with bottle feeding.
This article is sounding more like a pro breastfeeding article, rather than one which details the benefits of both bottle and breasts. For this I apologize. While researching this article a significant problem arose. There are many, many resources available which promote breastfeeding. But those which promote bottle feeding are nearly non existent. Please allow me to quickly respond to the mother who decides not to breastfeed.
There are very good mothers who decide not to breastfeed for various reasons. Some women make the decision not to breastfeed based on her particular medical condition or her personal environment. Choosing not to breastfeed her baby is a loving choice if a woman is facing any of a variety of dangerous health conditions. For instance, these women include, but are not limited to those who are;
- Infected with HIV
- Taking prescribed medications for cancer, including chemotherapy and radiation
- Using or taking illicit drugs
- Are untreated for tuberculosis or hepatitis
A woman’s doctor can help make an assessment as to whether it is safe to breastfeed. Women can also contact the Academy of Pediatrics’ for more information on when it is unadvisable to breastfeed their babies. For many women formula is best.
Women who choose not to breastfeed for whatever reason, are not lesser mothers. Often the opposite is true. Moms at risk choose to bottle feed their babies for the same reason nursing mothers breastfeed. It is the best option for their baby.