Benefits Of Breast Feeding

There are definite benefits to breastfeeding, and mothers only need to consider a few to help make their decision to nurse their baby.

Breast is best -- a motto that's heard everywhere and most especially from formula companies. But that doesn't do justice to the incredible advantages of breastfeeding your baby.

Perhaps the most astounding benefit of nursing a child is the close bond that is developed when you nurture your child with your body -- the same body that grew your baby. It isn't so much that bottle-fed babies cannot be bonded with, it is that nursing a baby is the natural course of events in life after giving birth. And since our bodies were made to breastfeed, it stands to reason that the bonding that occurs is also natural. Maybe not instantaneous, but natural, nonetheless.

Another advantage of breastfeeding that parallels the occurrence of bonding is the hormones that are released when your breastmilk nourishes your baby. It is called prolactin and it is often referred to as the "mothering hormone." Breastfeeding mothers talk about how let-down feels and the warm fuzzy kind of feeling that also results. It is difficult to put into words. But is important to mention anyway.

Breastfeeding your baby, in most instances, will delay the return of your menstrual cycles. It varies with each woman, ranging from eight weeks after birth to several years. An average length of time would be around six to nine months. Formula-feeding mothers will have a return of their cycles a couple months after giving birth.

In some cases, breastfeeding inhibits ovulation and the return of menstruation. Also to keep in mind is that ovulation occurs before menstruation and there is no way to know exactly when it will return. This is not the most effective means of birth control available.

Breastfeeding is relatively easy when compared with feeding with bottles. No equipment is necessary unless you need to pump for some reason. Your breastmilk is always at the right temperature and always available no matter where you are. No extra time is needed and no clean water is necessary.

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