12 Side Benefits of Breastfeeding

Hot List 27

breastfeedingWe all know the benefits of breastfeeding. The fact that there are no bottles to clean because it's straight from the tap is one major benefit. It's the best stuff on Earth for baby, too. Of course there are also the many health benefits of breastfeeding for mothers -- like reducing your risk of cancer -- and  breastfed baby are smarter. But there are even more side benefits, too.

There are little and big reasons to consider breastfeeding your baby at the start or for longer. Anything that can make a mom's or baby's life easier and better sounds great to me. Check out these benefits.

1. Breastfed babies don't get diaper rashes nearly as much. And if your baby does get a diaper rash, you can put some breast milk on it to soothe and cure.

2. Breastfed babies need fewer initial vaccines. There are antibodies in breast milk that cannot be replicated and they boost immune system from the start protecting baby. Breast milk is like the germ police. It really is liquid gold ... for the body.

3. Breastfed babies poop doesn't stink as much and is easier to clean. Breast milk is digested better than formula allowing babies to poop more frequently making it less messy and less stinky.

4. Breastfed babies have less spit-up, vomit less, and are less likely to have reflux. 

5. Breast milk is a natural pain reliever for your baby. Many moms like to breastfeed when a child is getting immunized and of course since breast milk contains hormones that relieve pain, it's great for teething or when baby is sick.

6. A breastfed child has less cavities and tooth decay. This is major mostly because it's sometimes very difficult to brush your child's teeth (or get a toddler to brush). Any extra help to prevent tooth decay is welcome.

7. Breastfed babies have better speech development. The jaws and tongue get a sort of workout from nursing.

8. Breastfed babies have better hand/eye coordination. Like speech development, this has to do with the fact that breastfeeding is an action in itself for baby.

9. Breastfeeding helps a baby go to sleep. It's soothing. Not just for baby either. Breastfeeding also helps mama relax.

10. Breastfed babies have lower cases of asthma. Any kind of respiration issues can be frightening. Lowering that risk is a relief.

11. Breastfed babies are less likely to become obese. This is believed to be a result that formula fed babies often get too soon an introduction to solids. Breast milk is also easier to digest.

12. Breastfeeding makes nighttime feedings easier. No formula to mix. No bottles to clean. Just snuggle with baby for those late-night feedings, then soothe each other back to sleep.

What other side benefits could you add?


Image via Mothering Touch/Flickr

breastfeeding, natural parenting


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katyq katyq

Love it :) there's so much ignorance out there about breastfeeding it's so unfortunate.

nonmember avatar Yeah

I love breast feeding and I nursed my 1st for 14 months and my 2nd for 10 months. That being said, my 1st had/has speech problems and terrible diaper rashes. And my 2nd has the stinkiest farts and poops I've ever smelled!! That sweet baby could clear the room when she let one rip. I was always under the impression that a breastfed baby's poop wasn't so bad so I shudder to think how bad it would've been if she had formula.

Dagny Fitzwater

For my husband, he doesn't have to get up to do any night feedings.

Jen Roberts

From my expreience...my daughter was breast, my son was not.

1. False, my daughter still got a rash and a yeast infection
2. False, If you are to vaccinate your kids you get the same amount whether you BF or not.
3. TRUE!!!
4. False, my daughter had reflux from birth despite BFing.
5. False, my daughter still had pain when teething.
6. Not sure yet.
7. Not sure yet.
8. False, my daughter is behind on that vs her brother who was bottle fed.
9. False, both kids slept about the same.
10. False, my daughter has asthma.
11. Not sure, me and hubby are under weight as is.
12. True, I loved just being able to grab the baby, side nurse her and get some more sleep while feeding.

sarah... sarahbell811

I kind of have to disagree with #3. I think the poop was soooo much messier and she was always having blow outs! hahaha. But I completely agree with #4. In fact, my younges daughter NEVER spit up while breastfed.

sarah... sarahbell811

another benefit...it's less stuff to pack when you are going out. You don't have to worry about packing a diaper bag full of bottles

Alexa... AlexaAdams

I'm a certified lactation counselor so I work with breastfed babies all day everyday. Every child is obviously different but as a general rule these are all true. My coworkers and I always joke how we can walk into a room of infants with dirty diapers and tell you which ones are exclusively breastfed just by how they smell.

Todd Vrancic

With breastfeeding, you don't have to clean all those bottles or boil the nipples.

Janine Fowler

For #11, I would add that the obesity risk is also linked to parent-led feeding. Breastfed babies control their milk intake and stop when they're satisfied, whereas formula fed babies are often encouraged to finish a bottle, so they lose the natural ability to recognize when they are full. Bottles also flow much faster, so babies can take in too much before they realize they are no longer hungry.

I love that boobs are always ready. When my son wakes up hungry, I can quickly nurse him back to sleep, before he has time to fully rouse. If I had to go mix a bottle, he'd probably wake completely and not go back to sleep.

MrsLund MrsLund

I don't agree with your statement on bottle feeding Janine Fowler. I've never 'encouraged' my dd to finish her bottles. She makes it very clear to me when she's finished and then the bottle is taken away. There are so many different nipples out there that are low flow and make the baby work like they would on the breast.

I would have given anything to breastfeed my dd but she was 6 weeks early and couldn't get the suck, swallow, breath down so she was bottle fed my milk till I couldn't pump anymore. Plus, I have an autoimmune disease that wouldn't let me produce milk.

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