A few years ago, The Canadian Paediatric Society reviewed its position on the length of time healthy babies born at term should be breastfed. Until then, the CPS, like Health Canada, advised mothers to exclusively breastfeed their baby for “4 to 6 months”. These organisations now advise to breastfeed for a solid 6 months.
The benefits of breastfeeding keep accumulating and show that the longer a child is breastfed, the more he is protected from infections. Breast milk contains antibodies that prevent and fight diseases.
The Canadian Paediatric Society makes this recommendation because according to Statistics Canada, 85% of mothers breastfeed their newborn, but only 19% of them exclusively breastfeed until the child is six months old.
If you are still hesitating and are looking for arguments in favour of breastfeeding, here are a few:
1. Complete food
Formulas may satisfy the baby’s hunger, but they fail in comparison to breast milk. An easy way to check for yourself? Stools from a child who is being breastfed and one taking formula are different (in texture, colour and/or quantity) . The first child’s stools will be less abundant than the second because almost all of the mother’s milk is used by the baby’s body, so much so that there is almost nothing left to eliminate. With commercial formulas, its chemical composition is mostly rejected by the digestive system and ends up in the stools.
2. Healthy choice
Breast milk is known worldwide for its immune system benefits. It contains antibodies that strengthen the baby’s immune system, which is very weak at birth. This doesn’t mean that the child will never be sick, but he will probably be sick less often and not as long as a baby who hasn’t been breastfed.
3. Always ready
Breast milk is always fresh and at the right temperature. It has an ideal consistency, isn’t too thick or too runny and has the perfect amount of essential nutrients for the baby’s development. Whether you’re on the run or at home, you don’t have to look very far to feed your baby, which can be a good thing during night feedings.
4. Automatic process
You don’t have to do anything to produce milk. Right after delivery, the body starts making milk right from the first suckle. The more the frequent the feedings, the more the body makes milk. You’ll never run out!
5. Emotional connection
It’s also a known fact that mothers who breastfeed develop a very tight bond with their baby. It doesn’t mean that a mother who doesn’t breastfeed loves her child any less, but the skin on skin contact, the reaction of the mother’s body to every suckle and the fact that the mother and the child are in repetitive contact makes for a calm, emotional connection with a special bond.
6. Cheap food
You don’t breastfeed your child to save a few bucks. However, not buying formula is a considerable money saver!
7. Easier weight loss
Breastfeeding is great to loose weight because it draws from the fat accumulated during pregnancy. When breastfeeding, you have to consume an extra 500 calories a day because your body burns 940 calories for every litre of milk created. Your weight loss of about a kilo per month will be slow and constant.