You probably hear the "breast is best" mantra everywhere you turn. The reason why the message is so pervasive is that breast milk can't be beat in terms of benefits for baby (and mom). Formula companies try to come up with a powdery composition that mimics breastmilk, but they simply can't create the same unique properties that our bodies engineer automatically post-labor and delivery.
Of course, we all are well-aware that breastmilk provides the optimal nutrients for baby's physical growth and protects baby from illness. But did you know...
Besides all of those textbook-y benefits, I'll add five other ones from my personal experience...
1. Breastfeeding saved us money. La Leche League reports that the least expensive formula costs $134 a month and the most expensive formula costs $491 a month. Multiply that by 12...at the least, you'll spend $1,608 on formula. If you go with the pricier brands, you could end up spending over $6,000! If I compare that to the amount I spent (um...$0), there really is no comparison.
2. Breastfeeding forced me to slow down, relax, and enjoy my baby.
3. Breastfeeding helped me "bond" with my baby.
4. Breastfeeding was more convenient (no bottles, no stirring, no heating).
5. Breastfeeding kept me period-free for almost two years! (Pregnancy, plus 12 months after baby's birth...)
With all of those benefits (for both you and baby), you might as well give it a shot. If you have questions or need some support/encouragement, you can join a La Leche group near you.
WIN IT! One winner will receive The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, Seventh Revised Edition, published by the La Leche League International. To enter, simply leave a comment and your e-mail address prior to Friday, January 4, at midnight. Winner will be contacted and announced on Saturday, January 5. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.
* UPDATED * The winner is #30 dinahk2. Congratulations!