August is breastfeeding awareness month and the theme for this year is Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support. This issue seeks to raise breastfeeding awareness by pleading with governments and groups to put safeguards in place for nursing. The Liberian government recently passed a law that mandates women to breastfeed their babies exclusively for 6 months. While that is well and good, so many other factors that contributes to making breastfeeding easier for all women have been neglected by the government. However, that's a discussion for a different day.
Today, I just want to share 6 reasons why every mom should try her best to breastfeed her baby and some cute photos from my breastfeeding shoot.
Top 6 reasons why you should breastfeed your baby.
As a Mom of two, I've been breastfeeding cumulatively 3 years since I had my first daughter in 2019. I never thought I'd breastfeed up to three months, let alone breastfeed exclusively for 6 months or even breastfeed 2 babies in 3 years.
I used to be one of those ladies who'd say things like I don't want my breast to sag; or that's what formula is here for. But once I held these tiny bundles of joy in my arms, all I could think of was doing everything within my power to ensure that they grew healthy and strong; and if that meant breastfeeding for one year or more, so be it.
Breastfeeding is great for you and your baby. Recent studies have found that breastfeeding lowers a mom’s risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure which reduces the risk for stroke and heart attack. When you breastfeed, you save money that you would have otherwise spent on formula and bottle feeding supplies. Breastfeeding up to one year means you’ve given your baby health benefits that will last a lifetime, including being less likely to become overweight later in life and having a lower risk of heart disease as an adult. Here are six other reasons why you should breastfeed your baby:
- Breast milk contains antibodies that boosts immunity and is the natural food intended for babies. Breast milk Protects against allergies, diarrhea, stomach upset, bloating, constipation, viruses, and other life threatening illnesses.
- Breast milk will help your baby grow stronger; Breast milk has hormones and the right amount of protein, sugar, fat and most vitamins to help your baby grow and develop.
- Breast milk may protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Research has found that the risk of SIDS reduced by 60 percent in babies breastfed for six months while babies breastfed until one year of age and older had a 73 percent lower risk.
- Breastfeeding also helps you recover physically from giving birth by causing your uterus to contract back to its normal size.
- Breastfeeding provides skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby creates a perfect environment for quality bonding. If you go to work, spending this quality time with your little one when you return home encourages one-on-one bonding and gives you both something to look forward to after a day of separation.
- Breastfeeding is also a great way to comfort your baby as they experience growth spurts, teething and the occasional bump or bruise.
The most challenging breastfeeding experience I had was with my first, Tarlee (click here to read about that experience). I wasn't prepared for breastfeeding at all and it was such a shock to experience it. But with my second, Grace it was really smooth sailing. I didn't struggle with milk production and I didn't get nipple sores from poor latch. In fact, I enjoyed it so much more than I enjoyed breastfeeding Tarlee. Grace is now 9 months and she has started solids but once it's past 5 pm, she stops eating anything else and waits until I get home to breastfeed. It's amazing the kind of bond that is created between a mom and her baby during breastfeeding. I wish every woman could experience that.