6 Benefits of Breastfeeding and Update!

So I took some time off due to A's health problems and just life. The beginning of fall is very tough for me because it starts to get dark out earlier and if effects my mental health negatively. So on top of learning that A is allergic to everything (or it feels like that), I was depressed and had a loss of energy to keep up with the blog and the cleaning that I have to do for A's allergies. The positive note is that only the initial transition process is the only time I have a noticeable shift in energy and A is doing much better with her weight since switching to a new high cal. formula.

I would've written again sooner but I got stuck in this loop of not knowing exactly how to start back up again. Then questioning the validity of being able to blog etc. One of the main things I have learned in recovery though is that giving up and doing nothing often times is the worst thing to do. Even though it can be uncomfortable to do something that is new and attempt to start back up again that is the best thing to do. "Lean into the discomfort" as they say.

So without further ado, I am going to tell you the 7 benefits of breastfeeding.  Of course, I will add the disclaimer that fed is best and that sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances that make it impossible or very hard to breastfeed. Such as your infant having galactosemia.

Health Benefits

Ear infections: 

Research has shown that breastfed babies have less incidence of ear infections. Although anecdotally I have not noticed a difference between A and C. They believe that breastfed babies don't lay down while eating which contributes to milk getting in their ears. As well as the antibodies that are in the breastmilk.

Respiratory Infections:

Babies who are breastfed also have a lower incidence of severe respiratory infections in the first 6 months. Another benefit of the awesome antibodies present in breastmilk. After 6 months the babies immune system takes over from the antibodies in the breastmilk so that is why there is that period of time of difference.

Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Hodgkins Disease:

Another benefit is a lower incidence of certain childhood cancers specifically the ones listed above. They are not entirely sure of why this is but they think it has to do with the makeup of the breastmilk and the role it plays in infants immunity. Once again this is looking at breastfed babies in the first 6 months of life. Apparently, there is still a lot of research to be done on the liquid gold. 


Another awesome benefit is a lower chance of childhood obesity, this is very important in this day and age of the epidemic of childhood obesity especially in the United States. This is leading to a slew of preventable health problems, that are brought on by poor diet. The other awesome thing, is that it doesn't matter if the mother is overweight or has diabetes herself. They think it has to do with the meeting of nutritional needs by the breastmilk, the ability to be more in tune with infant hunger cues, and being more satisfied by the breastmilk.

Diabetes type I :

A lower incidence of Type I diabetes is amazing because this is a lifelong disease. The link to this has more to do with the kind of formula we use rather than breastfeeding itself. They are finding a link to cows milk in the formula leading to a higher incidence of type I diabetes. Which neither of my children could use formula with cows milk in it due to an inability to process the protein. 

Saves Money

Price of Formula: 

This was a very big factor for our family, with my first child we were able to get the wonderful benefits of SNAP and WIC which were essential with higher priced specialized formula as well as help me and my husband with healthier eating options. Although you can get formula pretty cheap if you have a baby that doesn't need specialized formula. 

Missed Work:

With a lower incidence of sickness in your child, you have less missed work, which for me means more money. I had to use part of my sick days and personal days on maternity leave so for me missing work means missing that day of pay. I can't imagine how it would be if I didn't even have the ability to use those because of working part time etc. I have finally now started to accrue my sick days back now after 7 months of returning to work. 


This is one of the most important things I have found with breastfeeding A how much of a bond I have with her. Not that I have any less of a bond with my first child. I feel solely responsible for her well being and I enjoy being able to provide her with what she needs. There is nothing like sitting with your child after a long day breastfeeding her to sleep and being able to just relax. The hormone oxytocin is released when breastfeeding they often call this the "love" hormone, which helps to promote bond with your baby.

Easy Travel

Unfortunately, we really don't get this benefit because I need to use a supplemental feeder but if I were able to essentially breastfeed I would definitely enjoy this benefit. As if getting out the door if easy with a baby and a pre-schooler in the first place add trying to get together stuff for formula. Bottles, water, formula, ice, etc. it's such a hassle. Being able to just throw some diapers in a bag and go on your way sounds wonderful. 

Sleep Better

This is another one that we don't get to enjoy, but being able to just be able to roll over and pick up your baby and breastfeed sounds amazing. Not having to go to the kitchen everytime your baby wakes up to either make a bottle or warm it from the fridge when already sleep deprived sounds awesome. It also helps your baby because there is less time for you to meet her hunger needs and be able to get back to sleep themselves that much sooner. 

Maternal Benefits

That's right there are benefits to mamas too! Finally, we don't have to be completely selfless!

Less Bleeding After Birth:

Yes that all wonderful after birth bleeding. The one thing no one tells you about before getting pregnant. With breastfeeding your body releases hormones that increase the cramping or involution of your uterus back to pre-pregnancy size. This is painful at first but is a wonderful benefit to you because it means that you have less chance of the complication of bleeding too much after birth. 

Pre-pregnancy Weight:

That's right you can get back to your pre-pregnancy weight faster! That is if you can stave off the cravings for sugar like I have :) It also decreases your chance of Type II diabetes because of the benefits of weight loss brought on by the caloric deficit when producing and suppressing breastmilk.

Decreased risk of Breast and Ovarian Cancer:

Breastfeeding changes the tissue in your breast which leads to your lower change of breast cancer. Ovarian cancer is also decreased they are unsure of why this is a correlation. 

There are so many more benefits of breastfeeding that I didn't list here but can be found in my resources section below. I really encourage you to do the research yourself and not just take my word for it. It is incredibly beneficial and the ability to give the gift of health to your child is the best thing you can do. Until next time!


American Academy of Pediatrics
Benefits of Breastfeeding- https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Breastfeeding/Pages/Benefits-of-Breastfeeding.aspx

Breastfeeding and Childhood Cancer-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15986434

Breastfeeding Reduces Ear Infections-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27276788

Breastfeeding and Respiratory Viral Infection-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7099789

The Risk of Not Breastfeeding-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812877/

Breastfeeding and Childhood Obesity-https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210833/


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