Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. Breastfeeding lowers your baby's risk of having asthma or allergies.
Babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea.
"Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers."
Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) and breastfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children breastfed the longest.
According to Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq. in “Extended Breastfeeding and the Law”:
“Breastfeeding is a warm and loving way to meet the needs of toddlers and young children. It not only perks them up and energizes them; it also soothes the frustrations, bumps and bruises, and daily stresses of early childhood. In addition, nursing past infancy helps little ones make a gradual transition to childhood.
Decreases risk of Cancer-endometrial, ovarian and uterine.
Protects against osteoporosis
Reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease.
Helps your body heal and recover from childbirth more quickly.
Greater bond with your baby.
Just to name a few...
Breastfeeding should feel comfortable. Damage to your nipple, including blisters, cracks, bleeding, scabs and bruises are signs of a poor latch. Please seek help if nursing is painful.
In many situations the specific circumstances of your first breastfeeding experience can affect your milk supply significantly. Frequently, women are able to produce an adequate supply despite difficulties with a previous experience.
There are many techniques that can be employed to help a baby breastfeed after becoming accustomed to a bottle. It can take patience but it is possible.
The baby is much more efficient at removing milk from your breast than an electric pump. The baby can remove up to two and half times what a good electric pump can remove.
Pacifiers are not recommended by the AAP until breastfeeding is well established. Pacifiers encourage a tight lip seal creating difficutly for the breastfed baby to get a deep wide latch.