It’s beautiful but a lot harder than I had imagined.
In my heart, I felt it was the best thing I could do for my child.
While getting ready to welcome my firstborn, I read as much as I could on the subject. It became even clearer that breastfeeding would be highly beneficial to both my child and me.
I’ve been successfully breastfeeding for a year and a half. It has not always been easy, but I’m genuinely happy with my decision.
With support, most women can successfully breastfeed. (Unless there are exceptional circumstances involved: health issues, premature birth, etc.)
Unfortunately, many women don’t receive the support they need in the first few hours or days after their child is born.
General benefits of breastfeeding
Nursing allows mothers to have skin-to-skin contact with their newborns, which helps keep them warm and calm and steady their heart rate, breathing and temperature.
Furthermore, nursing helps mothers bond with their babies. (Although, it's certainly not the only way a parent can bond with their child).
Breastmilk changes as babies grow and develop and protects them from bugs and germs. But, overall, it helps them build a robust immune system.
Benefits for the baby
- It reduces the risk of infection and inflammation.
- There’s a reduced risk of urinary infections.
- Less risk of severe infections and tummy bugs.
- Breastfed babies are less likely to be hospitalised with asthma when they’re older.
- Breastmilk reduces the risk of ear infections.
- It also reduces the risk of diabetes when they’re older.
- Children who were breastfed are less likely to develop arthritis, lupus and heart diseases. There’s also a lower risk of multiple sclerosis.
Benefits for the mother
There are many benefits for women who nurse their children.
While breastfeeding, mothers release two hormones: