GETTING ORGANIZED FOR NEW BABY: PROS AND CONS OF BREASTFEEDING

Pros

  • Helps mom's uterus return to normal size by stimulating production of the hormone oxytocin.
  • Burns maternal calories.
  • Is economical - costs only as much as mom's appetite.
  • Is convenient - baby's nourishment is always on hand and ready to eat.
  • Is environmentally sound - requires no manufacturing or packaging and produces no waste.
  • Is emotionally satisfying for mom and baby.
  • Enhances mother-baby bonding.
  • Provides milk that's all-natural, guaranteed safe, and made for individual baby.
  • Makes traveling with baby easy.
  • Protects mom against ovarian, uterine, cervical, and breast cancers.
  • Protects maternal iron stores due to delay of menstruation.
  • Protects mom against heart disease and osteoporosis.
  • Ensures mom sits or lies down regularly to rest.
  • Gives mom regular surges of the "happy, calming" hormone, prolactin.
  • Provides optimum nutrition for baby: Breast milk contains just the right amount of fatty acids, lactose, water, and amino acids for proper human digestion, brain development, and growth.
  • Promotes optimum emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and physical development of baby.
  • Results in less stinky spit-up and bowel movements.
  • Provides baby with antibodies that protect against infections of ears, lungs, stomach, and gastrointestinal tract.
  • Protects baby against allergy development.
  • Is easy to digest, which means less constipation, diarrhea, and gas in baby.
  • Encourages baby's proper jaw and tooth development.
  • Provides colostrum to newborn, which strengthens immunity against infection and disease and helps prevent jaundice.
  • Lets baby decide how often and how much to eat, which can lower risk of childhood and adult obesity.
  • Protects baby against a number of terminal and debilitating diseases, like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), childhood leukemia, Crohn's disease, meningitis, and juvenile diabetes.

Cons

  • Must be learned. Mastering breastfeeding can be difficult for both mother and baby. But support and guidance from knowledgeable, empathetic groups, professionals, and family and friends can help mothers and babies achieve and continue breastfeeding success.
  • May draw unwanted attention in public. But with a little practice, it's easy to breastfeed discreetly. Plus, with more and more women breastfeeding, the sight of a woman breastfeeding in public is becoming more frequent and less shocking. In addition, federal and state lawmakers are currently passing laws that support breastfeeding in public (and in general).
  • May cause the mother physical discomfort, like cracked nipples and engorged breasts. But these problems can be managed or prevented by proper positioning, frequent feedings or pumping, and beneficial routines like breast massage and nipple cream application.
  • Only the mother can breastfeed. It's true that only mothers can feed babies at the breast. But today's breast pumps allow mothers to express and bottle breast milk anywhere easily and quickly, which lets others enjoy feeding babies' mothers' milk and lets mothers maintain their expressing schedule - and nourish their babies with breast milk - after returning to the workplace.
  • May make it hard to tell how much the baby has eaten. But if the baby is wetting four to six disposable (or six to eight cloth) diapers and soiling three to four diapers in twenty-four hours, then he or she is consuming an adequate amount of food.

*26/292/5*

WOMEN'S HEALTH

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