Breast is Best: Reasons, Tips, & Tools for Nursing Mothers

Every mother is faced with a multitude of decisions before baby even arrives. Will you carry or wear your baby? Will you co-sleep or have a separate nursery? How long will you take a leave from work? What’s your birth plan? I believe one of the most important decisions a mother must make is, “Will you breastfeed or bottle feed?”

Here’s 30 reasons why breast is best:

  • Breastfed babies have a decreased risk of developing childhood cancers
  • Breastfeeding improves vision
  • American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it over formula
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to have weight problems later in life
  • Breastfeeding protects against allergies, asthma, and respiratory issues
  • Breastfeeding protects against Hodgkin’s and Crohn’s disease
  • Breastfeeding decreases ear infections and sinus infections
  • Breastfed babies have higher immune systems
  • Breastfed babies have better digestion
  • Breastfed babies smell sweeter and have less foul diapers
  • Breastfeeding helps mother’s uterus shrink faster
  • Breastfeed babies have a decreased risk of SIDS
  • Breastfed babies have higher levels of iron, protein, and B12
  • Breastmilk is a natural antibiotic for wounds, eye infections, and UTIs
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to develop Multiple Sclerosis
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to struggle with infertility later in life
  • Breastmilk tastes better to babies
  • Breastfeeding can be done anywhere, anytime
  • Breastfeeding improves bonding and sleep cycles
  • Breastfeeding increases weight loss
  • Breastfed babies have less eczema and skin irritations
  • Breastmilk provides perfect nutrition and adapts to baby’s needs
  • Breastmilk is virtually toxin-free
  • Breastfed babies have higher IQs and motor development
  • Breastfed babies develop less cavities and dental needs later
  • Breastmilk won’t be recalled, expired, or discontinued
  • Breastfed babies are sick less often
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to die before age 3
  • Breastfeeding enhances effectiveness of vaccines and antibiotics
  • Breastfeeding decreases the chance of endometrial & ovaria cancers in mom
  • Breastfeeding is free!

Tips for Breastfeeding Moms:

  • Connect with your baby, lessen distractions & background noise, and find a comfortable spot with good back support
  • Drink LOTS of water! In fact, when you think you’ve had enough, drink some more.
  • Have your placenta encapsulated after the birth to increase milk supply (purchase here if you live in Austin)
  • Some babies prefer to be swaddled, but some babies prefer skin to skin contact. Get to know your baby and recognize their needs.
  • Try the cradle hold, the football hold, sideline, or cross my heart hold (Pinterest and youtube demonstrate these positions)
  • Bring baby to breast, not breast to baby
  • Latch is CRUCIAL! A lactation consultant can assist you with this and be sure your baby has much of the areola in his/her mouth. If their nose is pressed to breast, it’s okay. They will still find a way to suck, swallow, and breathe instinctualy.
  • Avoid creating a schedule for baby & just wait for signs they’re ready to eat such as rooting or hands to mouth. It’s better to look for these signals than to wait on tears. A calm, happy baby will feed better.
  • Feed baby as long as they’re eating, no fakers, lol. Switch sides as necessary and use an app on your smart phone, a journal, or mark your bra strap with a clip or ribbon to remember which side you nursed on last.
  • Eat, eat, eat! You may want your pre-baby body back right away, but remember it takes time and breastfeeding burns anywhere from 300-500 extra calories a day. Eat healthy meals often throughout the day loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals. Don’t be afraid of spices either as they’re good for a developing palate.
  • Keep a mental note or daily journal of foods you’re eating and try to note if they’re causing gas in your baby. If so, avoid those foods.
  • Check healthychild.org or your local milk bank for instructions on storing & heating breastmilk

Tools for Breastfeeding Moms:

  • Lactation consultants- most hospitals and birth centers will have one stop by your room soon after the birth, but don’t be afraid to ask for one.
  • Also, if you need to hire your own LC, check for updated credentials (IBLCE) , read their client reviews, and inquire about years of experience first
  • Most consultants recommend the MyBreast Friend nursing pillow, available with organic cover
  • Nursing stool
  • The Kiinde Twist & Store Collection System
  • Mimijumi Bottle is wonderful for switching between breast and bottle
  • Simple Wishes Hands-free pumping bra
  • ItzyRitzy Nursing Cover (find it here)
  • Nonotoxic/Organic Nipple Cream
  • Swaddle sack such as a Woombie or a swaddle blanket that doubles as a nursing cover on-the-go like the marquisette
  • Milkin’ Cookies or find your own lactation cookie recipe (add whatever yummies you like)
  • Take fenugreek, blessed thistle, and fennel to increase supply naturally
  • Shrinkx Belly Wrap (helps with posture and shrinking body back to pre-baby size naturally) www.shopwholeheart.com
  • Keep a picture of your baby or a clothing item with baby’s smell handy when you’re pumping

Breastfeeding Supplies

Why will you breastfeed?

 

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