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Benefits of Breastfeeding

I think I am probably not alone when I say that I found breastfeeding my first baby very challenging. I had no idea what I was doing and to be honest Olivia wasn’t very good at it either! It was a foreign concept to both of us. I was so close to giving up on quite a few occasions but in the end I was very glad I persevered and ended up successfully breastfeeding her until she was 9 months old.  As a first time mum struggling with breastfeeding I think the reason I kept going was because I asked for help in the form of a lactation consultant as well as my local Maternal Child Health Nurse. Plus I realised that if I had to supplement my breastfeeding with a bottle of formula it wasn’t the end of the world, and didn’t mean that I had failed at breastfeeding or was a bad mum, I was simply doing what was best for my baby.

So for other mums out there struggling here are my top reasons for ploughing on and continuing to breast feed:

  1. It’s free. It can become quite expensive if you have to formula feed.
  2. It’s convenient. I didn’t have to stuff around with bottles all the time, plus if you were out and found your baby needed a feed, it was always possible.
  3. It does get easier. The first six weeks are probably the hardest but once you both get the hang of it, it becomes very natural.
  4. It forces you to sit down and take a break. Especially in the first few weeks where sleep is scarce it is nice to sit down, relax, and cuddle your baby while you feed.
  5. Breast milk is all your baby needs for the first six months of their life, plus it helps them to fight infection.
  6. Last but definitely not least, it helps you to lose weight. I was really surprised at how easily and quickly I lost a fair amount of baby weight, unfortunately not all of it though!