The Benefits of Breastfeeding – #keepbritainbf

When I got pregnant, with both of the boys, in fact, even before I got pregnant, I knew I would be breastfeeding. Or, at the very least I was going to give it a damn good go. There was no question in my mind, it’s just what I was going to do.

When Jake was seven and a half months old, I stopped breastfeeding him completely, as I knew I would be going into hospital for a week to have surgery, and following that, I had six months of chemotherapy to go through. At that point, breastfeeding was no longer an option, and although I was sad to stop, I’m glad I managed to do it for as long as I did.

This time, I don’t know how long I will breastfeed for, but I am hoping to stop when I feel ready to, not because I have to. Already, I am being asked “When can you give him a bottle?” The answer: “I CAN give him one now, but he is a breastfed baby, so isn’t having them yet.” I’m very tempted to get myself, or Zack a t-shirt from Lactivist and then maybe I won’t get asked again.

As well as being free and convenient (no need to prepare bottles in a sleepy daze at 3am, or carrying them around with you when you are out and about) breast-feeding also has health benefits for both mum and baby.

Benefits for babies

  • less chance of diarrhoea and vomiting and having to go to hospital as a result
  • fewer chest and ear infections and having to go to hospital as a result
  • less chance of being constipated
  • less likelihood of becoming obese and therefore developing type 2 diabetes and other illnesses later in life
  • less chance of developing eczema
  • Any amount of breastfeeding has a positive effect. The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits.
  • Infant formula doesn’t give your baby the same ingredients or provide the same protection. Breast milk adapts to meet your baby’s changing needs.

Health benefits for you

Breastfeeding doesn’t only benefit your baby. It benefits your health too. Breastfeeding is good for mums as it:

  • lowers your risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer
  • naturally uses up to 500 calories a day
  • saves money – infant formula, the sterilising equipment and feeding equipment can be costly
  • can help to build a strong bond between you and your baby
  • Exclusive breastfeeding can also delay the return of your periods.

*benefits taken from the NHS website

I love the bond that it gave me and Jake, and that it’s giving to me and Zack. I love the way Zack looks at me with those big blue eyes of his, and that I know that if no one else can, that I can always comfort him. It’s also very handy to be able to sit in my bed with him swaddled, then feed him to sleep and put him down in his crib. I know some people think that breastfed babies don’t sleep as well at night, but Zack easily goes five or six hours before waking for a feed, and then he just comes and lies next to me and feeds.

I love breastfeeding, and I’m not planning on stopping any time soon!

If you have enjoyed reading, you will find more bloggers taking part in the scavenger hunt here:

Thank you for reading.  Please complete the following to enter the competition for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Grand Prize:

Leave a comment on this blog telling me what made you decide you wanted to breastfeed.

For extra entries:

Go to the Life, Love and Lollipops Facebook page and “like” and  “share” the hunt with your Facebook friends.

Tweet the following: I’m taking part in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger hunt via @rozzibee http://wp.me/p1Fanz-5Y #keepbritainbf

Leave a separate comment for each thing you have done.

Happy Hunting!

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18 thoughts on “The Benefits of Breastfeeding – #keepbritainbf

  1. I never thought I would breastfeed my baby, I wasn’t breastfed and I didn’t know any other mums who breasfed their babies. However my partner was breastfed and it was important to him that I tried. I was also persuaded by the health incentives and the cost!! I am so glad I tried and persisted (I didn’t find it easy) as I feel I have given my baby the best start in life…

  2. I wanted to breastfeed because of the health benefits for baby, the fact that it was more convenient,and had health benefits for me were a bonus! Having family that breastfed their babies made a big impression on me too.

  3. I had always intended to breastfeed my baby, it was something I knew from the moment I was pregnant, I had a vague understanding of the benefits for my baby, and a better understanding of the benefits to me.
    I knew that there was a link between breastfeeding and reduced risk of breast cancer.
    My mum died of metastasised breast cancer 5 years ago and reducing my own risk was an important if somewhat selfish factor in deciding to breastfeed.
    I breastfed my daughter for 19 months, and still going strong with my son at 5 months with no inclination to stop at the mo 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your story

  4. I just thought breastfeeding was the natural way to feed a baby. It was only when I started having problems and was looking for help that I discovered just how amazing it is

  5. Whilst I was pregnant, my mother in law was very keen for me to Breastfeed. However, I felt quite unsure as to whether or not I wanted too… Then my baby boy was born, and as soon as his skin touched mine and we cuddled, I knew! I knew that I wanted him to breast feed and it just felt… RIGHT! 🙂

  6. I am very stubborn and being told by so many well-meaning friends and family members that I would fine breastfeeding difficult made me determined to succeed with it – and I did.

  7. To be honest the thought of bottle feeding never entered my mind as i just always saw breastfeeding as the natural thing to do and was more concerned about not being able to do it than anything else.

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