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To Breastfeed or Not to Breastfeed: How to Decide

A new baby comes with so many decisions – vaccinations, where to give birth, maternity leave, the list goes on. One very important decision you will have to make is whether or not to breastfeed your newborn. While breastfeeding is generally the preferred choice during the first 6-12 months for the overall health of the baby, there are many factors to consider.

Advantages:

  • Nutrition. Breastfeeding provides the most complete source of nutrients to your newborn baby.
  • Protect against illness. Breastmilk also contains unique antibodies that help protect the baby from illness and future allergies.
  • Aids in losing baby weight. Breastfeeding burns an average of 300-500 calories each time, which is great when trying to lose that stubborn baby weight. In addition, it can help your uterus return to normal size after delivery.
  • Cheaper and more convenient. Because you don’t need to spend money on formula or take the time to prepare and sterilize the bottle, breastfeeding is oftentimes a less expensive and more convenient option.

Disadvantages:

  • Difficult for working mothers. Because babies require to be breastfed 6-8 times a day, this can pose scheduling difficulties for working mothers. Formulas also fill up babies more, which means they need to be fed less often.
  • More diet restrictions for mothers. Babies ingest everything you ingest when breastfeeding, which poses more diet restrictions. If a mother is on medication that could be harmful for the baby, breastfeeding could be unsafe.
  • Breastfeeding can create sore nipples and leaky breasts, making this an uncomfortable option for many women.

Like every baby, every woman is different. And remember, there is no wrong decision in this instance – the most important thing is your baby is getting the nutrition he or she needs. Talk to your doctor to see which route is the healthiest option for you and your child.

 

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