101 Reasons to Breastfeed

1. ALL expects in infant feeding recommend breastfeeding as the best feeding method for the baby. ” Human milk is the preferred feeding for all infants, including premature and sick newborns. It is recommended that breastfeeding continue for as long as mutually desired (at least 12 months or more).”
2. Breastfeeding Promotes Bonding Between Mother and Baby. Breastfeeding stimulates the release of the hormone Oxytocin in the mother’s body. “It is now well established that Oxytocin, as well as stimulating uterine contractions and milk ejection, promotes the development of positive maternal behavior and also bonding between mother and the baby.”
3. Breastfeeding Satisfies Baby’s Emotional Needs. All babies need to be held. Studies have shown that premature babies are more likely to die if they are not held or stroked. There is no more comforting feeling for an infant of any age than being held close and cuddled while breastfeeding. While many bottle-feeding parents are aware of cradling their babies while offering the bottle, there is always the temptation to prop up a bottle next to the child, or, when the baby is a little older, to let the child hold his/her own bottle and sit alone. This is emotionally unsatisfying to baby, and can be dangerous physically. An unsupervised child can choke. Also propping up bottles over night leads to tooth decay.
4. Breast milk provides perfect infant nutrition. “Human milk is uniquely superior for infant feeding and is species-specific; all substitute feeding options differ markedly from it. The breastfed infant is the reference or normative model against which all alternative feeding methods must be measured with regard to growth, health, development, and all other short and long-term benefits.”
5. Breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of breast cancer. “If all women who do not breastfeed or who breastfeed for less than 3 months were to do so for 4 to 12 months, breast cancer among parous premenopausal women could be reduced by 11 percent, judging from current rates. If all women with children lactated for 24 months or longer, however, then the incidence might be reduced by nearly 25 percent. This reduction would be even greater among women who first lactate at an early age.”
6. Formula feeding increases baby girl’s risk of developing breast cancer in later life. Women who were formula-fed as infants have higher rates of breast cancer as adults. For both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, women who were breastfed as children, even if only for a short time, had a 25% lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who were bottle-fed as infants.
7. Formula feeding is associated with Lower I.Q. The latest study to support this statement was done in New Zealand. Here an 18 year longitudinal study of over 1,000 children found that those who were breastfed as infants had both better intelligence and greater academic achievement than children who were infant-formula fed.
8. Breast Milk is always ready and comes in A nicer package than formula does. Need we say more?
9. Breast milk helps pass meconium. Babies are born with a sticky tar-like substance called meconium in their intestines. Colostrum, or early milk, is uniquely designed to move this substance through the infant’s body.
10. Breast Milk contains immunoglobulins and helps in the development of Baby’s Immune System. Formula provides neither of these benefits.
11. Breast Milk is more digestible than formula “Babies can digest human milk more easily than the milk of other animals, probably because human milk contains an enzyme that helps in this process. Breast milk forms softer curds in the infant’s stomach than cow’s milk (the basis for most formulas) and is more quickly assimilated into the body system. While it contains less protein than does cow’s milk, virtually all the protein in breast milk is available to the baby. By contrast, about half the protein in cow’s milk passes through the baby’s body as a waste product. Similarly, iron and zinc are absorbed better by breastfed babies.”
12. Suckling helps shrink mother’s uterus after Birth. “Nursing will help you to regain your figure more quickly, since the process of lactation causes the uterus (which has increased during pregnancy to about 20 times its normal size) to shrink more quickly to its prepregnancy size.(This process is called involution of the uterus)
13. Suckling helps prevent post-partum haemorrhage. Nursing her baby causes the mother’s body to release oxytocin, which stimulates contractions, which help shrink the uterus back to prepregnancy size while expelling the placenta.
14. Nursing helps mom lose weight after baby is born. Breastfeeding requires an average of 500 extra calories per day. Mothers who breastfed exclusively or partially had significantly larger reductions in hip circumference and were less above their prepregnancy weights at 1 months post partum than mothers who fed formula exclusively.
15. Pre-term Milk is Specially Designed For Premature Infants. “Milk produced by women who deliver prematurely differ from that produced after a full -term pregnancy. Specifically, during the first month after parturition, preterm milk contains a composition similar to that of Colostrum.”
16. The World Health Organization and UNICEF Recommend It. “… breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; … it forms a unique biological and emotional basis for the health of both mother and child; … the anti-infective properties of breast milk help to protect infants against disease; and … there is an important relationship between breastfeeding and child spacing.”
17. Breastfeeding protects against Crohn’s Disease. (intestinal disorder) It also protests against many intestinal disorders.
18. Formula Feeding increases risk of baby developing Type I juvenile, insulin – dependent) diabetes.   The results of a study in Finland suggest that young age at introduction of dairy products and high milk consumption during childhood increase the level of cow’s milk antibodies in the children’s systems. This factor is independently associated with increased risk of insulin dependent diabetes.
19. Breastfeeding decreases insulin requirements for breastfeeding mothers. Reduction in insulin dose postpartum was significantly greater in those who were breastfeeding than those who were breastfeeding than those who were bottle-feeding.
20. Breastfeeding stabilizes progress of maternal endometriosis.
21. Not Breastfeeding Increases Mother’s Risk of Developing Ovarian Cancer.
22. Not Breastfeeding Increases Mother’s Risk of Developing Endometrial Cancer.
23. Formula Feeding Increases Chances of Baby Developing Allergies.
24. Breast Milk Lowers Risk of Baby Developing Asthma.
25. Formula Feeding Increases Baby’s Risk of Otitis Media (ear infections).
26. Formula Feeding May Increase Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.(Cod death)
27. Breastfeeding Protects Baby Against Diarrheal Infections.
28. Breastfeeding Protects Baby Against Bacterial Meningitis.
29. Breastfeeding Protects Baby Against Respiratory Infections.
30. Formula Fed Babies Have a Higher Risk of Developing Certain Childhood Lymphomas.
31. Breastfeeding Chances of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.
32. Breastfeeding Decreases Child’s Chances of Contracting Hodgkins Disease.
33. Breastfeeding Protects Baby Against Vision Defects. Breast milk is generally the main, if not the only source, of vitamin A during a child’s first 24 months of life (or for the duration of breastfeeding).
34. Breastfeeding Decreases Chances of Maternal Osteoporosis In Later Life. The odds that a woman with osteoporosis did not breastfeed her baby was 4 times higher than for a control woman.
35. Breast Milk is an intestinal soother.
36. Cow Milk is an intestinal irritant.
37. Formula-Fed Babies are more at risk for obesity in later life.
38. Breastfed Babies have less chance of Cardiopulmonary distress while feeding. Bottle-fed babies are at increased risk of cardiopulmonary disturbances, including prolonged airway closure and obstructed respiratory breaths due to repeated swallowing.
39. Breastfed Babies Have Less Chance of Developing Ulcerative Colitis.
40. Breast Milk Protects Against Hemophilus b. Virus.
41. Breastfed Babies Require Shorter Pre And Post-Surgical Fasting.
42. Breastfeeding results in less sick days for parents. Since breastfed babies are statistically healthier than their formula fed peers, the parents of breastfed babies spend less time out of work taking care of sick children.
43. Breastfeeding enhances vaccine effectiveness. Breastfed infants showed better serum and secretory responses to peroral and parenteral vaccines than those formula-fed.
44. Breastfed Babies Have Less Chance Of Developing Necrotizing Enterocolitis.
45. Breastfeeding is a natural contraceptive. This is true only if you are exclusively breastfeeding, and have not yet gotten your period back following childbirth. Night nursing encourages longer amenorrhea (periodlessness). If you really don’t want to get pregnant again, use some back up birth control even if you haven’t gotten your period again. You will have not way of knowing when your first ovulation will occur, and by the time you figure it out you may be expecting! still, generally speaking, breastfeeding contributes to optimum child spacing.
46. Breastfeeding is easier than using formula. After the initial start up period, breastfeeding is very easy. All you have to do is lift up your shirt and let the little one latch on. No shopping for formula, bottles, and other supplies. No mixing, heating, refrigerating and cleaning up of formula. If you sleep with your baby, or sleep the baby next to your bed, you can forget about all the disturbing nighttime rituals associated with formula use. All you have to do is roll over, let the baby latch on, and go back to sleep!
47. Breast Milk Is Free. The added calories a mother must take in are a negligible expense, and nursing clothes are optional. You don’t have to shop for milk or budget for milk.
48. Formula is expensive. The cost of feeding a baby on formula for one year was estimated to be around R1000.00. cost for breast milk is ZERO cents.
49. Formula Costs The Government (and taxpayers) Millions of Rands
50. Breast Milk is always at the right temperature. Severe burns to babies’ mouths have occurred due to improper heating of artificial milks. Even when it’s done correctly, it’s never fun to try to warm a bottle for a fussing baby.
51. Breast Milk Always Has The Right Proportions Of Fat,  Carbohydrates And Protein. Formula companies are constantly adjusting these proportions looking for the best composition. The reality is that a mother’s milk composition changes from feeding to feeding depending on the needs of her child.
52. Breast Milk Acts Like A Natural Tranquilizer For Baby. Mother’s milk contains chemicals that seem to work like “knock-out drops” for tired babies. Even if baby doesn’t fall asleep, he/she will certainly calm down and become more agreeable.
53. Breastfeeding Acts Like A Natural Tranquilizer For Mom. Nursing mothers often joke about falling asleep on the job. The sleep inducing qualities of nursing a baby are remarkable. In fact, new mothers have to be careful to hold a nursing baby in such a way that they will not drop the child when they inevitably nod off. Nursing in bed is a great solution. Even pumping at work can be a great way to claim down and get refocused on a stressful day.
54. Breast Milk tastes better than formula. Human breast milk is sweet and light. Formula is pasty and bland. Which would you rather eat?
55. Breastfed Babies are healthier overall.
56. Breastfed Babies are less likely to die before their third birthday.
57. Breastfed babies require fewer doctor visits. Since breastfed babies are statistically healthier, they see the doctor less often.
58. Breastfeeding Mothers spend less time and money on doctor visits.
59. Fewer waste packaging products.
60. No bottles to tote. Unless you’re pumping and transporting the milk for later. Even then there are fewer bottles two deal with.
61. Less cow induced global greenhouse gasses. Ridiculous as it may sound; bovine flatulence is a huge contributor to the greenhouse gas problem. Aside from producing vast quantities or methane, cows also contribute their manure and urine to our rivers and ground water.
62. No need to refrigerate. Of course, breast milk stays fresh because it’s made on demand.
63. Cow milk is designed for baby Cows. Human milk contains completely different proportions of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Cows milk is designed to help put weight quickly, grow amazingly fast, and develop only as much brain power as a cow needs. The hormones in cows milk are geared toward cows, not humans. The fact that human beings can even drink the milk of another species in sort of amazing when you stop to think about it.( Is your baby a cow?)
64. Human Milk is designed for Baby Humans. Baby cows probably wouldn’t do very well on it. It’s designed to build brains, and to foster gradual physical growth.
65. Natural pain relief for babies. Breast milk actually contains chemicals that suppress pain (endorphins). Aside from this, the comfort a baby derives from being held close and suckling is remarkable. Many a bruise or scrape has been soothed away almost instantly by a few moments of nursing. If you choose to have your child vaccinated, it is a good idea to nurse immediately after he/she receives a vaccination. This soothes the hurt, as well as enhancing the vaccine’s effectiveness.
66. Perfect food for sick Baby. When a formula fed baby gets a gastrointestinal ailment they are usually put on an artificial electrolyte solution because formula is too hard for them to digest. Breast milk, however, is easily digested, and soothing to the intestines, so there is no need for artificial and expensive electrolyte solutions. If a baby gets a respiratory illness, formula may cause even more mucus. In contrast milk contains antibodies to these ailments, as well as being highly digestible and not contributing to excess mucous formation.
67. More sleep for mom. Especially if she sleeps with baby, but even if she doesn’t. No bottles to prepare and warm.
68. More sleep for Baby. A baby that gets its night time needs met quickly is more likely to get right back to sleep than a baby who has to wait for a bottle while crying and swallowing air.
69. More sleep for Dad. Again, even if he helps with baby burping, diapering, and toting, there are no bottles to deal with. Also, breastfed babies tend to need much less burping after the first few months.
70. Less equipment to maintain and store. Those bottles, measuring devices, sterilizing equipment and other gadgets take up a lot of shelf space and need a lot of cleaning.
71. Less equipment to buy. Unless you pump. Even if you do have to buy a pump and the basic bottle kit, the savings in cost of formula and additional medical attention make breastfeeding financially well worth trying.
72. Breast milk has never been recalled. Formula has been, sometimes after causing injury or death.
73. Fresh Breast Milk is never contaminated with bacteria. In fact, it has antibacterial properties.
74. No need to worry about which brand is better. Each artificial breast milk formula is different from all its competitors, but none of them come close to duplicating the real thing. It can be very stressful for formula feeding mother to try to determine which brand is the best of the lot. No matter which formula is used “it is increasingly apparent that infant formula can never duplicate human milk. Human milk contains living cells, hormones, active enzymes, immunoglobulins and compounds with unique structures that cannot be replicated in infant formula.
75. No need to worry about adding contaminated water. Even in the South Africa our water can contain dangerous elements like lead and aluminum. These contaminants can become concentrated if water is boiled to sterilize it before being added to formula.
76. Breastfeeding helps reduce cruelty to Farm Animals. Less use of cow’s milk equals fewer less opportunity for animal abuse.( Cow abuse)
77. Facilitates proper dental and jaw development. “Suckling at the breast is good for a baby’s tooth and jaw development. Babies at the breast have to use as much as 60 times more energy to get food than do those drinking from a bottle. As [the babies jaw] muscles are strenuously exercised in suckling, their constant pulling encourages the growth of well formed jaws and straight, healthy teeth.” “Among breastfed infants, the longer the duration of nursing the lower the incidents of malocclusion.”
78. Breastfed babies get fewer teeth cavities. Bottle-fed babies “are at increased risk for baby bottle caries, a destructive dental condition which occurs when a baby is put to bed with a bottle containing formula, milk, juice or other liquid high in carbohydrates. Extensive dental repair may be required at a cost of thousands of Rands.
79. Less money spent on corrective Orthodontia. If the teeth come in straight, there is no need to fix them.
80. Better Speech Development. Tongue thrust problems often develop among bottle-fed babies as they try to slow down the flow of milk coming from the artificial nipple. This can lead to speech problems, as well as “mouth breathing, lip biting, gum disease, and a generally unattractive appearance.”
81. Less Chance Of Baby Getting Eczema. “We conclude that breastfeeding is prophylactic against atopic disease, the effect extending into early adulthood. Breastfeeding for longer than 1 month without other milk supplements offers significant prophylaxis against food allergy at 3 years of age, and also against respiratory allergy at 3 years of age. Six months of breastfeeding is required to prevent eczema during the first 3 years, and possibly also to prevent substantial atopy in adolescence.” The differences by infant feeding method were so pronounced that they “suggested an influence of early milk feeding that may exceed the heredity burden.
82. Breastfed babies have great Skin. Check out the skin of a breastfed baby and see what you think.
83. Less Gastrointestinal Reflux (Spit-up). Breastfed neonates demonstrate gastroesophageal reflux episodes of significantly shorter duration that formula fed neonates.
84. Easier To Clean Spit-up Stains O.K. This is only based on a casual survey of a lot of breastfeeding mothers. We notice that the hand-me-down clothes we receive from bottle-fed babies have nasty brown staining all over the collars and fronts. Our Breastfed babies never created these sorts of spit-up stains. How many newborn breastfed babies do you see wearing bibs all the time?
85. Breast Milk Contains No Genetically Engineered Materials.

Most consumers are completely unaware of how much genetically engineered food they are consuming because the U.S. government does not require this food to be labeled as such. Genetic ID, a company in Fairfield, Iowa, tested four soy-based baby formulas for genetically engineered ingredients. All four, Carnation Alsoy, Similac Neocare, Isomil and Enfamil Prosobee, tested positive.
86. Contains No Synthetic Growth Hormones. Since many cows in the U.S. are now routinely ingesting synthetic growth hormones to artificially increase their milk production, it stands to reason that these hormones are also getting into the U.S. formulas.
87. Lack Of Breastfeeding Associated With Multiple Sclerosis. Although thought to be multifactorial in origin, and without a clearly defined etiology, lack of breastfeeding does appear to be associated with an increased incidence of multiple sclerosis.
88. Less Chance Of Inguinal Hernia The inguinal canal brings down the spermatic cord and certain vessels to the groin area. A hernia is a defect in the opening where these things pass through from the abdomen to the groin because the canal opening gets too big or tears off. The hernia allows abdominal contents to get down into into the groin area. Breastfeeding is protective against inguinal hernias. For unknown reasons breastfed babies experience significantly fewer of them. Human milk contains gonadotropin releasing hormone, which may affect the maturation of neonatal testicular function. One recent case control study showed breastfed infants had a significant dose response reduction in inguinal hernia.
89. Better Cognitive Development. In 771 low birth weight infants, babies whose mothers chose to provide breast milk had an 8 point advantage in mean Bayley’s mental development index over infants of mothers choosing not to do so.
90. Better Social Development. The psychomotor and social development of breastfed babies clearly differs from that of bottle-fed ones and leads at the age of 12 months to significant advantages of the psychomotor and social capabilities.
91. Decreased Risk Of Baby Developing Urinary Tract Infections.
92. Suckling Optimizes Hand-to-Eye Coordination.
93. Protects Mothers Against Anemia (iron deficiency). Since many exclusively breastfeeding mothers do not begin to menstruate for a year or longer their iron stroes are not depleted by monthly bleeding.
94. Less Money Spent On Menstrual Supplies. Many breastfeeding moms do not begin to menstruate again until 14 or more months after giving birth. Multiply this by the four million US births each year to see that over one billion sanitary products annually could be kept out of our nation’s landfills and sewers. To compound the scenario, because breast milk is absorbed by babies more efficiently, breastfed babies excrete less and thus require fewer diaper changes that formula-fed babies.
95. Self Confidence Booster For Mom. There is nothing more amazing than looking at a plump six month old baby and knowing that the only nutrition this happy little creature has received has come from your own body.
96. Breast Milk Is Good For Combating Eye Infections. Breast milk contains natural antibiotic qualities, and many mothers swear that a squirt in the irritated eye of their baby has cleared up the problem in short order.
97. Breast Milk is a good natural antibiotic for wounds.
98. No worry about latest ingredient discovered to be missing from formula. “Formula” is really a formula for synthetic human milk. There is no real formula that can duplicate human milk because, as the FDA said recognized in a recent statement” … the exact chemical makeup of breast milk is still unknown.” “Formula-fed infants depend on products which can be quite different from each other, but which are continually being found deficient in essential nutrients.. These nutrients are then added, usually after damage has occurred in infants or overwhelming market pressure forces the issue.
99. Much nicer diaper changes. The bowel movements of breastfed babies smell mild and inoffensive. The same can not be said about those of formula fed babies. Try changing a few formula fed babies if you are uncertain about wanting to try breastfeeding!
100. Breastfed babies smell fantastic. Again, this is not a scientific study. Their is something almost magical about the scent of your own breastfed baby, whether you’re the mother or father involved. Try it, you’ll like it!
101. It’s what breasts were designed for!