Breastfeeding is not the easiest way to feed your baby. It can be difficult when you’re nervous about having an adequate supply or when a common issue surfaces (thrush, a plugged duct or mastitis to name a few), but it is by far the best and most natural option for your baby.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
Breastfeeding is a natural and beneficial source of nutrition and provides the healthiest start for an infant. In addition to the nutritional benefits, breastfeeding promotes a unique and emotional connection between mother and baby.
Here are some benefits of breastfeeding for both baby and mom:
- Baby has a stronger immune system because of antibodies found in breast milk.
- Baby absorbs more vitamins and minerals from human milk than formula.
- Breast milk is full of good fats, protein and lactose that a baby needs for brain development.
- Breast milk evolves to meet the needs of the baby as he or she grows.
- Breast milk tastes different depending on what you eat, giving baby a more varied palate.
- Breastfeeding burns up to 500 calories a day, helping you get back to pre-pregnancy weight quicker.
- Breastfeeding is virtually free (minimal cost may come into play if you need to purchase a breast pump and supplies).
If you have any questions or concerns about breastfeeding, talk to an experienced lactation consultant or your obstetrician. They can help you troubleshoot and find solutions to problems you may be experiencing.