Advantages and Disadvantages of Breast Feeding

If you are pregnant and wondering how your life will change once the baby arrives, the answer is: plenty.  You will go through a total life change and if you are considering breastfeeding your baby, that change will only heighten.  Breastfeeding is one of the hardest, but most rewarding experiences any mother can have with her child.  If you are considering going for it, here are some things to consider.

First, there are numerous advantages to both you and your baby when you choose to breastfeed.  The baby is automatically protected from many different illnesses because of the antibodies in the breastmilk.  That means he will have lower amounts of ear infections and many other viruses.  He is also less likely to develop allergies as he ages.  He will have a lower risk of SIDS, a heightened amount of intelligence, and a reduced chance of getting cancer.  Breast milk is an unmatched form of nutrition that can help any baby grow and thrive.

The baby is not the only one that benefits.  You as the mother may see several advantages as well.  Breastfeeding can reduce stress levels and many mothers are at a lower risk for issues like postpartum depression because of it.  Not only that, but moms who want to lose their extra baby weight fast will find that burning the extra calories by making and expelling the breast milk greatly helps that process.

Breastfeeding is not all sunshine and roses.  In fact, there are many disadvantages to the situation.  Sometimes, breastfeeding can just plain hurt.  If the baby does not attach correctly, you can end up with welts and other painful side effects.  Breastfeeding also often leads to engorgement when the baby drops a feeding or does not eat as much as normal and this is also very painful.  One of the biggest complaints nursing moms have is the fact that no one can feed the baby but them.  That means no matter what time of the night it might be, mom is the one that has to tend to the baby because mom is the only one with the feeding devices attached to her.  Breastfeeding can also be hard to do for those who are uncomfortable with it in public situations.

As you consider the options, take a look at both sides alongside your lifestyle and comfort level and figure out what you want to do.  Breastfeeding is hands down the best thing for a baby.  That does not mean, however, that it will fit into your lifestyle.  Many babies are raised healthfully on formula as well.  A mom who is planning to stay home with her child, however, should seriously consider nursing her child to give him the best shot at a healthy life from early on in his childhood.

If you decide to breastfeed and find yourself quickly exhausted and dismayed by your choice, remind yourself that this stage will not last forever.  After the first year of your child’s life, he will likely be done with it and you can look back on the time and smile at the memories you made with him…even at 3 in the morning.

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