What are the Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding a Baby?

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers
A breast pump.
A breast pump.

While some women are quite determined to breastfeed their babies, others are not so sure they want to do it, as there are pros and cons. Just a few of the advantages for the mother include the possibility of losing weight faster than usual, the ease of feeding, and the typical delay of menstrual periods. The baby benefits by being less likely to become ill, as well as being able to easily digest his food, which happens to come with a taste that most babies enjoy. Additionally, breastfeeding a baby often results in a comforting feeling of closeness between the mother and child, though this may also result in little chance to bond with other caretakers. Furthermore, nursing mothers often find it to be time-consuming, as well as physically exhausting.

Breastfeeding is considered the healthiest way to feed a baby, but also takes commitment.
Breastfeeding is considered the healthiest way to feed a baby, but also takes commitment.

Breastfeeding a baby is often appealing to women because there are several benefits for both the baby and themselves. For example, since breastfeeding tends to burn at least 500 calories per day, women are able to eat more without gaining weight, and sometimes even lose weight faster than mothers who do not breastfeed. Also, nursing mothers may find that latching the baby onto their breast is often easier than mixing and heating formula, especially in the middle of the night. One of the other main benefits of breastfeeding a baby is the delay of menstrual periods, as many women do not menstruate at all until they either start supplementing with formula, or wean the baby entirely.

Experts believe that breastfeeding is a great way to encourage mother-child bonding.
Experts believe that breastfeeding is a great way to encourage mother-child bonding.

Babies benefit greatly from breastfeeding, as well, with one of the pros being the sweet taste that most enjoy. Of course, one of the most well-known benefits of breastfeeding a baby is the extra immunity that the milk provides, as breastfed babies are typically more adept at fighting viruses, diarrhea, and diaper rash than formula-fed infants. Thus, they are usually less likely to require trips to the hospital or doctor, and also have a lower likelihood of developing diabetes or cancer during childhood. Of course, babies also benefit from the added comfort of getting to eat every meal in their mother's arms, which tends to provide a sense of closeness and security.

This closeness between the baby and mother may come with a price, however, as it does not allow other caretakers, such as the father or grandparents, to bond through feeding. Of course, the mother can usually pump milk to put in a bottle, but this usually takes some time and effort. In fact, breastfeeding a baby in general is time-consuming, and can often lead to fatigue and extra stress since the mother needs to be attached to either her baby or her breast pump every couple of hours.

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    • A breast pump.
      A breast pump.
    • Breastfeeding is considered the healthiest way to feed a baby, but also takes commitment.
      Breastfeeding is considered the healthiest way to feed a baby, but also takes commitment.
    • Experts believe that breastfeeding is a great way to encourage mother-child bonding.
      Experts believe that breastfeeding is a great way to encourage mother-child bonding.