Becoming a new parent, in part, means you’ve officially inherited an innumerable amount of decision making scenarios - for you, your newest addition and your family. From diapers to college, moms (and dads!) have options abound. It’s important to give serious thought to the decisions we make, and when it comes to nutrition for a newborn, the choices come down to two: breast vs. bottle.
As a mother of 2 children who were nursed for a combined total of 3 years (and 3 months), I understand the pressure a pregnant mother feels when it comes to choosing between breastfeeding and formula feeding. With each child, I occasionally supplemented with formula, so I also understand the pros and cons of not breastfeeding. The best advice I have is to do your research, talk with friends and family memebers, and of course, consult your physician.
Aside from my personal (very long) list, according to MommyEdition, many of the benefits of breastfeeding include:
Less incidence and severity of respiratory illness.
Breastfed babies are less likely to have GERD (reflux) and colic.
Higher IQ – an average of 8 points, and possibly more if baby nurses well into toddlerhood.
Less incidence of urinary tract infection.
But did you know there are benefits for mom and dad, too? A new mother’s uterus will shrink faster if she breastfeeds. Her risk of osteoporosis, breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, postpartum depression, and ovarian and endometrial cancer decrease. Many women use breastfeeding as a form of additional contraceptive, as nursing delays the return of ovulation.
MommyEdition also points out the financial and environmental benefits of breastfeeding (think of all the money! and all the formula cans you are saving from landfills! but also the money!). You’ll be saving so much, you could go ahead and plan that trip to Disney!
Once you’ve made your decision on whether to breastfeed, one of the few “getting your baby fed” investments I recommend for breastfeeding moms is a quality nursing pillow. There are so many options these days - styles, firmness, covers, straps, pillows for multiples - even inflatable varieties for travel - here’s a great article to help you make an informed decision on which top-rated nursing pillow is right for you.