Breastfeeding 101: Breastfeeding Basics

Experts say the breast is best. There are many key nutrients provided in a mother’s breast milk that formula cannot replicate. More women are breastfeeding and leaving formula for absolute emergencies. Not only does this time encourage bonding between the mother and child, but it can help boost their tiny immune systems. 


Nutrient-Filled Milk Is Ready As-Is

A mother’s milk is designed just for the needs of her baby. In fact, think of a calf and how their milk is specially made for them. Nature is miraculous in ensuring that young ones are taken care of by their mother’s body. A baby under six months of age should receive supplemental iron and vitamin D, which is needed for their growth. However, nature’s milk provides them with more of their essential needs. Even more importantly, there is no need to warm a bottle or wait to mix one. Milk is “on-tap” and comes out the perfect temperature for the child.


Immunologic Boosts

The immune system of a small child is quite fragile. A mother builds up immunity from many illnesses conquered over the years. Through the breast milk, the immunity is passed on to their children. The baby instantly starts forming a wall against inactivated virus or bacteria. Studies have shown that a breastfed baby will have fewer hospital stays and fewer illnesses than one who has been bottle fed. Did you know that the breastfed child also has a lower risk of developing asthma? Sinus issues and asthma can be thwarted from the milk given by mom. Studies confirm that this milk can help keep away obesity and type 2 diabetes. It is even shown to have a significant impact on an infant’s cognitive development. The antibodies present in the mother’s milk is vital for a strong and healthy start in life.


Benefits to the Mother’s Body

While it is clear there are many benefits for the baby, the mother also has a few benefits. All those grueling nights without sleep do help her out in the long run. First, a mother who is breastfeeding may be able to lose the baby weight more quickly. Shedding weight after giving birth is difficult. However, the lactation process helps to speed up the metabolism and shed those extra pounds. Those who breastfeed have a lower risk of cancer and osteoporosis. The same antibodies that release into the milk flood the mother’s body and provide serious protection.


Forming a Tight Bond

Though mother and child share a bond from being inside the womb, things change when the baby is delivered. Babies often see feeding time as a time to be close to their mother. They enjoy the security of being under their mother’s arms. Not only is their belly being satisfied, but they are also learning the touch and voice of their mom. Some babies cannot get enough of this and want to be fed even when they are not really hungry. It provides them security similar to being inside the womb. Studies show that there are psychological benefits to this, too. Children who don’t have a bonding experience at a young age may develop mental health issues later in life. Some fathers have a hard time finding where they fit in when mother and child form this bond through feeding times. In bottle feeding, the dad can partake in the bonding. However, when it comes to breastfeeding, it is all about mother and child.



One of the most shocking things that breastfeeding can do is increase the chance of survival. SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, is a massive concern that new parents face. Thankfully, breastfeeding can help in preventing this unexpected death. A nutritionally balanced meal will not only help stave away illness, but it can save a precious newborn’s life. While babies who are breastfed have a decreased risk of SIDS and other major diseases in the first year of life, it does not mean that babies who are formula or bottle-fed will automatically present any of these issues.


Things To Keep In Mind About Breastfeeding

The decision to bottle or breastfeed is one that does not come easy. Many people cannot breastfeed because their body doesn’t make enough milk to satisfy their child. In these cases, it is always best to use whatever breast milk you can and supplement with doctor-recommended formula. Remember, even some of nature’s milk is better than none. Those immunities and antibodies will be passed through even in the smallest amounts.


Breastfeeding is not always easy. A mother who works a full-time job may need to pump and use a bottle. Whether you can be there to feed you baby around the clock or you need to supplement makes no difference, anything you do to provide proper nutrition for your child will be rewarded. There will be many sleepless nights and times when your child seems to never be satisfied, but remember, it is all for the greater good of your child and their fragile immune system.