In the past, nursing your baby was just an accepted practice. Over the last 100 years, mothers have changed their views on this practice and opted for bottle feeding their babies. As times changed, and formulas were developed that offered more human nutrition than plain cow’s milk, breastfeeding became almost obsolete. However, there has been a large push over the last 20 years to encourage new mothers to change their opinions and return to exclusively breastfeeding their infants instead of using formula. Medical research has provided many reasons that nursing is much better than formula.
• Reduces Risk of Asthma. In a new study released in 2013, researchers found that babies that were exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life had less chance of developing asthma as they grew, even if this condition was common in the family.\
• Improves Immunity. Breast milk contains natural antibodies that cannot be mimicked in formula. These antibodies help your newborn fight infections and other potentially harmful medical conditions.
• Reduces Ear Infections. Infants that nurse from a bottle are more prone to ear infections because the nipples tend to leak. The excess formula drips down the side of the face and can enter the ear, causing an infection.
• Improves Security. New babies need to feel safe and secure. The bond that forms between mother and child when nursing enhances that secure feeling. For example, purchasing a nursing pillow can make the act much more comfortable for mother and child. With the assistance of a good pillow, the mother can place herself and the baby in a position that is close, safe, healthy and comfortable.
• Encourages Bonding. Another step would be to create a nursing area. Women may find that quiet time while feeding their baby is helpful for it to be comfortable. Some women may also find that being alone to nurse also allows them to bond more with their child during this time.
• Helps Pregnancy Weight Loss. It has been proven several times in different studies that women who breast feed drop their pregnancy weight quicker than those who choose to bottle feed.
So, with all of these obvious benefits, why are mothers still bottle feeding? Nursing is a personal choice, but sometimes choosing to not breastfeed is made for the wrong reasons. Some women feel that it may be too uncomfortable, others believe they may not do it “right.” These women should be reassured that breastfeeding is a very natural act and, if they do feel uncomfortable, there are things that they can do to change that feeling.
Overall, mothers that desire to breastfeed their babies should seek advice and information about nursing before deciding to opt for the baby bottle. There are so many benefits for both mother and child that it would be a shame to miss out on this natural bonding act because of lack of information.
A Mother and advocate of strong maternal bonding, Ann Bailey provides these tips for new moms. Investing in a good nursing pillow for the new mom and her baby is a positive step toward strengthening the growing bond between parent and child and making the process of quiet, heartfelt communication between them easier to accomplish.