If you are a first time mom, you’re probably thinking the same thing, ‘How in the H*** can my boobs make milk?’. This was just the most obscure thought to me when I was pregnant and when my daughter was born I just didn’t think that it was happening for me. But it was, and fast-forward almost 11 months and we’re still going strong. That’s why I’m excited to share this guide of 10 reasons to breastfeed.

Now I say that and it might seem like the journey has been easy, but really it’s been far from. Breastfeeding is HARD work so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. First off, you deal with engorgement when your milk comes in. As if recovering from childbirth isn’t bad enough, you also get to deal with rocks on your chest, and a little angel wanting to eat every 45 minutes. Not only that, but you likely will need to form callouses on your nipples. If the latch isn’t right you can blister (trust me on this, I had a HOLE in my nipple) and it is a type of pain that is in it’s own category.

Not only that but if you go back to work or are ever away from your baby you need to pump to keep up your supply. I haven’t been away from my daughter for more than 6 hours since she was born. She wouldn’t take a bottle, so it just worked for us to do that, but if you do work or need to travel – that pump becomes a part of your luggage. Don’t forget ice packs!

If it’s so hard, why breastfeed?

1. Breast is best!

Now don’t get me wrong, if you can’t breastfeed fed is best. I don’t like to mom shame, we have it hard enough as it is! But if you can breastfeed, breast milk is the best source of nutrition for your little one. While formula contains a lot of nutrients that are necessary for growth, there are just some things that aren’t available unless your baby gets breastmilk. Antibodies are a good example. Mom’s defense is baby’s defense until their immune system forms. 

2. Self-regulation

They say that babies that drink from the breast are better at self-regulation. This is because we’re not forcing them to finish a bottle. They simply drink until they are full and then they stop. We don’t have a great way to routinely measure how much baby takes. 

Baby being breastfed with breastmilk
3. They consume less (typically!)

Since the breast typically doesn’t flow as fast as a bottle nipple. Lactation normally says that babies that consume directly from the breast will take less overall than from a bottle. This means baby grow as fast, so you can wear those clothes a little longer. You can judge if this is a good or bad thing, but as long as your little one is steadily gaining weight, you shouldn’t be concerned.

4. Exposure to flavors

I can’t say that I’ve tried this, but they say that baby gets exposed to the stronger flavors of foods mom is eating through the breastmilk. While I haven’t researched this, I can say my daughter really struggled when I ate at one specific Indian restaurant. Also I know that before really trying to go vegan, my dairy consumption really impacted her eczema. 

Anyway – back to the original point, they say this helps your little one be a less picky eater. Who doesn’t want little ones who actually like vegetables and other savory foods? 

5. Overall less illness

They say babies who are breastfed are sick less overall. Now this is surely not the case for EVERY baby, but I can attest to it. Other than eczema and maybe a mild ear infection that cleared up without treatment, our daughter hasn’t been sick. I’m sure the fact that I stay at home with her plays a role, but she gets exposed to other kids at storytime and the play room at the library. I think this ties back to mom’s antibodies being shared with baby, but regardless, a healthy baby is a happier baby!


6. Faster weight loss for mom

This one sounds selfish, but let’s be real. Who doesn’t want to lose that baby weight faster? They say you burn around an additional 500 calories a day while breastfeeding so that’s like running for half an hour without moving a muscle. Personally, I lost my baby weight in about a month and a half. This was a mix of healthy diet, daily walks, and what I believe was mostly breastfeeding. So if providing your baby with nourishment isn’t enough incentive, consider this too!

7. Save you money

Formula is expensive. I didn’t really know how much it was, but one of my friends was telling me they spend about $20-$25 on one can and that lasts them around a week or a little more. Over the course of a year, that’s around $1,300 a year. Think about what you could do with an extra $1,300.

8. Easier to Digest

I was really surprised by this, but when we were in the hospital and I was visited by a lactation consultant, she told me that breastmilk efficiency is greater than 95% whereas formula is between 50-60%. She said this is why you formula-fed babies consume more than a breastfed baby and told me to take my 8oz bottles back if we planned to exclusively breastfeed (EBF). 

9. Helps Mom’s Body

If you’ve breastfed before, you probably recall the cramps you experienced those first few weeks after your little one was born. It happened almost every time I nursed. This is because the hormones that are released when you nurse encourage the uterus to shrink to its’ original size. It also helps delay your period from returning in order to retain iron in the body. A lot of pregnant women become anemic so this is important.

10. Promotes Bonding with Baby

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but you spend a lot of time snuggled up to your little one. This helps form a strong bond with your baby that will last a lifetime. 

This information has been collected from various sources, including local lactation consultants, MayoClinic, and the AAP.

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I also want to mention, if you can’t medically breastfeed, I mean no offense to you. It is a personal choice, and I understand if it’s not for you. This information is readily available across the web, and I just want to provide a resource of why you should consider it if you are on the fence.

Thank you for reading! I hope you have found some value in this list of 10 reasons to breastfeed guide.