If you are a new mom, or have been breastfeeding for a while – even if you have supplemented with bottle-feeding your baby – it’s never too late to realize the bonuses available to you and everyone else by letting your little one latch on. Breastfeeding has been shown to be greatly beneficial, not only to infants and mothers alike, but to all those around the suckling one.
For the Infant
Numerous studies have been conducted which show the myriad benefits breastfeeding bestows upon newborn babies. Infants who largely breastfeed have stronger immune systems and are less likely to develop ear infections, diarrhea or respiratory infections. Babies who breastfed solely in their first 3-6 months of life were shown to have higher IQ’s and develop language skills earlier than their non-breastfeeding baby friends. Those who breastfeed are less likely to experience problems with allergies and are even at lower risk for getting cavities throughout their life.
Breastfeeding seems to offer a sense of security to these little ones, telling them they have entered a “good” place and that it’s okay to stick around. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, infants who breastfeed have 20% lower chance of infant mortality in the first year of their lives. Babies who suckle also seem to have less risk of developing diabetes, high cholesterol, cancer, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease later in life. It just makes them all-around healthier. Studies conclude breastfed kids are generally more secure, confident and mature than kids who did not breastfeed.
For the Mother
Moms benefit significantly from breastfeeding their little ones, even if it seems a bit of a challenge at times. By letting their infant latch on, moms assist their uterus in going back to regular size after childbirth. Breastfeeding releases oxytocin which is the love hormone, also responsible for those uterine contractions and it helps the mom in avoiding postpartum depression. Breastfeeding also helps mothers lose any unwanted pregnancy weight as well as being one of the most effective birth-control methods around. At around 98% effective, (more than condoms and the diaphragm) nursing your little one can keep the new family under control while everyone is still adjusting to their new little member without worry.
Breastfeeding women have a more balanced emotional state and are generally more confident due to the fact that they feel they can provide for their little one. Anxiety seems to be lower in nursing moms and everyone knows when mom is happy, everybody’s happy.
For Everyone Else
In the home, the financial situation is greatly assisted by not having to buy infant formula, which can save a family an average of about $800 per year, which may not seem like a lot, but on top of diapers and everything else, every little bit counts. Fathers are blessed by a low-stress mama and other family members benefit from a breastfeeding mom by feeling the emanating warmth from the intimate bonding that occurs between mother and baby. People do not see enough genuine, healthy intimate bonding in this world. It is nourishing to all to be in contact with an experience where love is so beautifully being transferred and received.
The community and world at large benefits from the bonuses of breastfeeding by welcoming a new healthy member into society. Children who breastfeed are confident, generally healthy and well-adjusted, influencing those with whom they come in contact with to express similar, inspiring qualities. In the world, coming into contact with a breastfeeding woman challenges individuals to reconnect to their roots and see life from a primal perspective of love and nourishment, so often lacking in today’s world. So many people wish to place organic, raw, living, breathing reality on the back burner in favor technology and “progress,” all the while denying the true nature which lies within them. Breastfeeding is a natural and beautiful process that heals the planet by its very nature.
Yes, there are so many breastfeeding bonuses available to everyone. As we embrace the natural way in which life expresses, and choose to see the miracles around us rather than hide from them in favor of a boxed reality full of alternative methods thought “better” by science, we will heal ourselves and each other. Nursing one’s baby is the way nature intended new life to be nourished. Just because we have formula available in the situations where milk is unable to be produced, it doesn’t mean it is the best way for everyone else who can lactate normally. Even in the case of lactation issues, there are so many natural herbs such as fennel, fenugreek and blessed thistle that could even make a woman who is not a mother lactate if necessary.
Yes, in some cases, bottle feeding is a glorious alternative to be utilized when it is appropriate and healthy for all. Some women have no choice and wish they could breastfeed their little ones. The point here is that breastfeeding is a bonus for everyone when it can be engaged in with good spirits and presence. Every baby, mother, father and community member deserves the benefits of a healthy breastfed kid when possible. So here is to moms who nurse – may lactation be abundant and the world at large be blessed.
Written by: Stasia Bliss