Advantages of breastfeeding
- It provides the essential nutrients at exactly the right time baby needs them (breast milk changes according to baby's needs).
- It can protect your baby from infections, diseases, diarrhoea, and diabetes.
- Less chance of constipation.
- Less chance of developing eczema.
- It gives long-term protection against food allergies and other types of allergy.
- It helps prevent obesity.
- It aids digestion of diary products helping to protect your child from lactose intolerance.
- It’s available whenever and wherever your baby needs a feed.
Advantages of breastfeeding for mothers
- It produces endorphins (happy hormones), which have a natural anti-depressive effect.
- It encourages natural, healthy weight loss - it takes up to 500 calories a day!
- Lowers your risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer.
- It helps builds stronger bonds between you and your baby.
- It provides you with a great sense of achievement.
If you don't want to breastfeed, don't feel bad about it
New mums with little milk, cracked or sore nipples that make breastfeeding painful often feel guilty that they're not giving their baby the best start in life.
Older children can also be jealous of the close bond between you and your newborn, or you and your partner may simply be unsure about breastfeeding, for one reason or another.
Don't beat yourself up over it: the most important thing is that you feel at ease with motherhood. Infant formula (shop bought milk) is the next best thing to give your baby the nutrients he or she needs.
It's better not to breastfeed than to suffer through it if you really aren't happy with it.