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Some Reasons to Breastfeed Your Baby

  1. Breastmilk is the perfect well-balanced food for babies. Researchers keep discovering new ways in which baby formula doesn't contain a mix of nutrients as good for the baby as breastmilk.
  2. Breastmilk is always at the right temperature: no warming bottles at 3am.
  3. Breastmilk is always mixed to the right concentration. No mixing bottles at 3am, when you're horribly sleep deprived, and having to worry about making mixing errors. (Making the formula too weak or too strong can put a strain on the baby's kidneys.)
  4. Bottle feeding requires a lot of equipment, which costs money and needs endless sterilizing. Breastmilk can't be contaminated, so you don't need to sterilize anything.
  5. Breastmilk contains antibodies that strengthen the baby's immune system. The effect lasts through the baby's life. The longer you breastfeed, the more benefits the baby receives.
  6. Moms who breastfeed a baby before they turn 30 have a lower risk of breast cancer.
  7. Daughters who are breastfed have a lower risk of breast cancer.
  8. Breastfed babies require fewer visits to the pediatrician than bottlefed babies.
  9. Breastfed babies have fewer incidents of vomiting and diarrhea than bottle fed babies -- even after weaning. Some reports show that breastfeeding protects against bronchitis, food poisoning, the flu, ear infections, botulism, urinary tract infection, ear infection, SIDS, heart disease, bacterial meningitis, diabetes, asthma, and allergies.
  10. Breastfed babies have better teeth.
  11. Breastfeeding helps the mother to lose the weight-gain from pregnancy.
  12. Breastfeeding reduces the mother's postpartum bleeding, helps her uterus go back to its pre-pregnant state, speeds bone re-mineralization (which reduces the chance of hip fractures after menopause) and reduces the risk of ovarian cancer.
  13. Formula fed babies have a higher risk of obesity later in life.
  14. Breastfeeding enhances vaccine effectiveness.
  15. Babies can be allergic or otherwise sensitive to formula.
  16. Breastfed babies are less likely to get "nursing bottle syndrome", which is when babies are put to bed with a bottle of milk that pools around their teeth and causes the teeth to rot away.
  17. Baby formula stains clothing. Breastmilk doesn't. (Trust me, whatever you feed your baby will touch lots of clothing, both yours and your baby's.)
  18. The composition of breastmilk is different for babies at different ages, and even from the beginning of a feeding to the end of the feeding. It is tailored to the baby's age and nutritional needs. Formula isn't.
  19. The poop of breastfed babies smells inoffensive. The poop of formula fed babies does not. This makes a difference when you're changing the baby's diapers for years on end.
  20. Some bottle-feeding parents will try to force the baby to finish off a bottle when the baby is full, or to get the baby to stop eating when the bottle is empty. A breastfeeding baby can eat exactly as much or as little milk as she wants, which is good since only the baby knows how much she needs (that is, she knows how hungry she is).
  21. You're much more mobile with breastmilk than with formula feeding. It's hard to be out and about while sterilizing bottles, keeping formula cold, warming formula to feed to babies, or carrying the appropriate quantities of supplies with you.
  22. Breastfed babies have fewer speech impediments.
  23. Breastfeeding is much less expensive than buying baby formula. The difference is estimated at $400 to $1200 per year.
  24. Breastfeeding stops your menstrual cycle for a while, which can help you to rebuild your iron stores after losing iron during pregnancy. Menstruation would make it harder to rebuild those iron stores.
  25. Breastfeeding can prevent pregnancy, although reports vary about how reliable it is.
  26. Breastfeeding has been related to possible enhancement of cognitive development.
  27. Breastmilk has antibacterial properties.
  28. Breastmilk is available faster when the baby starts to fuss. It is no fun to warm a bottle for a baby who is urgently hungry.
  29. Breastfeeding is gentler to the earth: You aren't adding bottles, nipples, liners, formula packaging, etc., to the world's overflowing landfills.

If you have questions, thoughts, things to add, things you disagree with, things that are outdated, please let me know

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