Breast milk is oh so healthy.

We don’t want to pressure everyone to nurse. We just want you to be aware of the benefits. Breast milk contains antibodies that can’t be engineered. Breastfed babies get fewer colds and sinus and ear infections. They also have less diarrhea and constipation and a decreased chance of having allergies and many other little sicknesses here and there.

 

Mom, you might end up healthier too.

Over the long term, breastfeeding helps ward off breast and ovarian cancers. In the short term, the physical contact helps you bond with your baby. It forces you to sit still and focus on nurturing. As one mum said, “Nursing is the one time that your baby is totally content and there’s nothing else you should be doing.” Breastfeeding also releases “mothering hormones” like prolactin, which helps keep the baby blues at bay, and oxytocin, which helps the uterus contract. Oh, and it burns lots of calories!

 

Nursing is tough in the beginning.

We’re not going to lie. Those first days, you might feel what experts call extreme tenderness — and what we call pain. But once your baby is properly latched, discomfort should diminish during each nursing session and go away completely with time. Don’t ignore shooting pain; a knot in the breast accompanied by soreness and redness could be a plugged milk duct, which can lead to mastitis, a nasty infection that requires antibiotics. Ninety percent of moms are worried about either latch or supply. Fortunately, lactation consultants make house calls, hospitals host clinics, and the Web offers many resources. My daughter’s pediatrician simply showed me how to adjust my child’s chin to improve her lazy suck.

 

Breastfeeding saves you money.

If you mostly nurse and use formula only in a pinch, you should be able to pocket some extra money in your baby’s first year. That’s even if you buy a breast pump!

 

You’re the food supply, so mother yourself.

Keep taking prenatal vitamins, get ample calcium, and drink lots of water daily while nursing. “A new mom needs to stay well hydrated and well fed. You’ll also need to learn to relax, however you can — stress might affect letdown (the start of your milk flow). Take a warm shower, sink into a chair, and remember to breathe as you help your baby latch on.

If you need medication (for anything from a cold to a chronic condition), check with your doctor. Most meds — but not all — are fine in breast milk. Likewise, one drink every once in a while is safe. Have it at least two hours before a feeding so the alcohol can leave your system.

Breastfeeding can be blissfully convenient.

No rushing to the store to buy milk. No waking up in the middle of the night to make food. No cleanup. Many moms just roll over (especially if their baby is in a co-sleeper) and nurse in a soporific state.Breast milk is instantly available and delivered warm. Plus, feeding supplies are one less thing to shove into that bursting diaper bag.

Travel can be easier too. Stuck in a plane, bus or traffic for hours? Your baby will never run out of food. And once the two of you find a groove, nursing in a carrier can be particularly handy, as I’ve found, while you chase a big sibling around the playground.

 

Breast milk + formula is an option.

For me its the best choice.Some mums work hard at work, then get home early to nurse, so her baby drank formula during the day. Just know that when you combo-feed, your milk production will reduce.

 

Plenty of women pump milk, and for all kinds of reasons.

First, some women pump either to encourage their milk supply or to relieve engorgement. If baby has a good night’s sleep and you wake up full of milk, you may as well bottle it for future use!

Second, there are the occasional pumpers. Fill a bottle, and Dad can do that midnight feed, or you can have a baby-free date. For this, you may need only a single manual pump.

Finally, there are working moms who take two or three short breaks during the workday to pump breast milk, which they bring home and put in the fridge or freezer. If you’d like to do this, discuss your intentions with your boss or consult another mom at the company who has done it, to make sure you’ll have space and privacy. A special hands-free bra can allow you to multitask —

 

(Excerpts from parents,webmd)