Many people wonder, why the big fuss about breastfeeding? Does it really matter how a baby is fed? In short, it does. The research is in, and there are significant statistical differences between the health of both mama and baby when breastfeeding is the chosen feeding method.
When we talk about the importance of breastfeeding in terms of the science, it’s important to clarify exactly what it means when a report says that breastfeeding is protective or reduces risk - if a report says that a formula-fed baby is more likely to get a lower respiratory infection, does that mean that all formula fed babies will get these infections? Or that no breastfed babies will? No, not at all. But it does mean that if you look at 100 or 1000 babies, and compare the breastfed to the formula fed ones, that in the breastfed group, there will be far fewer lower respiratory infections (like bronchitis and pneumonia). In the breastfed group, there will also be fewer cases of bowel infections like necrotizing enterocolitis, fewer ear infections, and as the children age, lower rates of obesity.
Breastfeeding is not only beneficial to babies. In mothers who breastfeed, the reduction in rates of breast cancer has been known for a long time. However, newer research has also shown that breastfeeding can help prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, and lower the risk of ovarian cancer.
While breast pumping is never as soothing as breastfeeding skin to skin, remember that pumping pays off in the ease of feeding when you’re home with the baby, in addition to the reduced risk of illness and chronic disease for both mother and baby. These are health improvements that a woman carries with her for her entire life, from the experiences of just a few years. And now, when you’re looking for a quiet place to express milk, look for a Mamava lactation suite! We’re here to support you, Mama.
Questions/Comments? Let us know! We’re here for you and have a certified lactation consultant on board to provide expert feedback.