In a list of hundreds of baby-related decisions you must make, one of the biggest is to use breast milk, formula or a combination of the two. You’ll likely receive an overwhelming amount of info about breastfeeding, so we’ll try to boil it down to the basics.
Here are three reasons why breastfeeding could be the best option for you and your child:
1. Breastfeeding keeps your baby healthier.
Breast milk is specially designed with antibodies that protect your baby from colds, the flu and more serious diseases like cancer. Breastfed babies are also at a lower risk for food allergies, eczema, asthma and even crooked teeth.*
Plus, researchers have found that children who were breastfed for at least three months tend to have higher IQ scores than those who were bottle-fed.†
2. Breastfeeding supports moms’ health.
Columbia University researchers discovered that women who breastfeed are 1.5 times less likely to develop breast cancer, and they have a lower risk of ovarian cancer than women who do not breastfeed.
A more immediate benefit is that breastfeeding burns between 300 and 500 calories per day, helping you reach health goals sooner.‡
3. Breastfeeding saves you money in the long run.
Bottle-feeding can cost around $1,500 for six months’ worth of formula and supplies. Electric breast pumps cost a bit initially, but they result in savings over time. And your local health department may offer a breast pump loan program.
Take time to discuss breastfeeding with your healthcare provider, so you can make the right decision for you and your baby.
Don’t have a healthcare provider? Visit our resource guide to find one near you.
Disclaimer: If your baby has a fever or other symptoms, or you have concerns about the growth and development of your child, always seek care with your healthcare provider.
* The Bump
† Kramer, Michael S., Frances Aboud and Elena Mironova. “Breastfeeding and Child Cognitive Development: New Evidence from a Large Randomized Trial.” 2008.
‡ Women’s Health