6 Reasons Why To Continue To Breastfeed
(taken from Dr Sears)
It takes effort to keep up with breastfeeding when you must be away from your baby for part of the day, but there are good reasons for sticking with breastfeeding to begin with, your baby gets better nutrition and the two of you continue to enjoy a special closeness. There are also other practical benefits, too:
- Breastfed babies are healthier, so mother (and father) will miss fewer work days to stay home with a sick baby who is not welcome at daycare. Studies show that breastfeeding mothers have three to six times less absenteeism than mothers who formula-feed.
- Breastfeeding saves money. A one-time pump purchase is cheaper than buying formula. Even renting a hospital-grade electric pump may be cheaper than buying formula. Breastfed babies also use fewer healthcare dollars, because of fewer visits to the doctor and fewer serious illnesses.
- Providing breastmilk for feedings while you're gone protects your baby against allergies.
- Pumping, saving the milk and even leaking while you're at work helps you feel connected to your baby when you must be apart.
- Because only mother can breastfeed, a baby always knows who is the person he loves the most. Nannies, babysitters, and daycare workers are no substitute for a nursing mom.
- Mothers can look forward to a warm and cuddly reunion at the breast after hours of separation. Mother and baby can enjoy the convenience and closeness of breastfeeding during all the hours they are together, day and night.
WHY Breast is Best? Breastfeeding Benefits (Top to Bottom)
(taken from Dr Sears)
- Brain. Higher IQ in breastfed children. Cholesterol and other types of fat in human milk support the growth of nerve tissue.
- Eyes. Visual acuity is higher in babies fed human milk.
- Ears. Breastfed babies get fewer ear infections.
- Mouth. Less need for orthodontics in children breastfed more than a year. Improved muscle development of face from suckling at the breast. Subtle changes in the taste of human milk prepare babies to accept a variety of solid foods.
- Throat. Children who are breastfed are less likely to require tonsillectomies.
- Respiratory system. Evidence shows that breastfed babies have fewer and less severe upper respiratory infections, less wheezing, less pneumonia and less influenza.
- Heart and circulatory system. Evidence suggests that breastfed children may have lower cholesterol as adults. Heart rates are lower in breastfed infants.
- Digestive system. Less diarrhea, fewer gastrointestinal infections in babies who are breastfeeding. Six months or more of exclusive breastfeeding reduces risk of food allergies. Also, less risk of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in adulthood.
- Immune system. Breastfed babies respond better to vaccinations. Human milk helps to mature baby's own immune system. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of childhood cancer.
- Endocrine system. Reduced risk of getting diabetes.
- Kidneys. With less salt and less protein, human milk is easier on a baby's kidneys.
- Appendix. Acute appendicitis is less common in children who were breastfed.
- Urinary tract. Fewer urinary tract infections in breastfed infants.
- Joints and muscles. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is less common in children who were breastfed.
- Skin. Less allergic eczema in breastfed infants.
- Growth. Breastfed babies are leaner at one year of age and less likely to be obese later in life.
- Bowels. Less constipation. Stools of breastfed babies have a less-offensive odor.
Each mother provides custom-designed milk to protect her infant. When a baby is exposed to a new germ, mother's body manufactures antibodies to that germ. These antibodies show up in her milk and are passed along to her baby. Many a nursing mother can tell the story of the entire family–dad, mom, siblings–coming down with the flu and the nursing baby having the mildest case, or not getting sick at all. When mother comes down with a bug, the best thing she can do for her baby is to keep breastfeeding.
While babies are breastfeeding, they have fewer and less serious respiratory infections, less diarrhea, and less vomiting. When breastfed babies do become ill, they are less likely to become dehydrated and need hospitalization.
In summary, breastfed babies are healthier.
As a working mom, I make sure I still breastfeed my baby whenever I'm back with him, whether at home or when we go for shopping. I'm a fan of nursing in public and wearing my baby.
Maintaning my milk supply tops my priority list. I pump at work and I breastfeed my baby on demand when he's with me.
Here are some very good tips from Nancy Mohrbacher about The "Magic Number" and Long-Term Milk Production:
- Breast storage capacity affects how many times every 24 hours a woman's breasts need to be drained well of milk—either by breastfeeding or expression—to maintain her milk production.
- The "magic number" refers to the number of times each day a mother's breasts need to be well drained of milk to keep her milk production stable. Due to differences in breast storage capacity, some mothers' "magic number" may be as few as 4-5 or as many as 9-10.
- The amount of milk per day babies need between 1 and 6 months stays remarkably stable, on average between 25 and 35 oz (750-1050 mL) per day.
- By thinking of the 24-hour-day as a whole, it becomes obvious that the more times each day the baby breastfeeds directly, the less expressed milk will be needed while mother and baby are apart.
- Understanding these basic dynamics can go a long way in helping mothers meet their long-term breastfeeding goals.
- Ideally, to keep milk production stable, do not regularly allow your breasts to become uncomfortably full, as that gives your body the signal to slow milk production.
- Don't just focus on your pumpings at work. Also keep your eye on the number of breastfeedings outside your work hours.
- It's not just how many times you pump at work that determines your milk production. More important is the number of breast drainings every 24 hours and how this total compares to your "magic number".