We 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