Article by Michelle LaRue

After enduring all the pains of labor and pushing what feels like a bowling ball out, you have a wonderful child in your arms. Then the nurse asks you the simplest question, which seems to take years to answer. "Ma'am will you be bottle or breast feeding your child?" My answer to that question was breast feeding, and that should be the answer everyone gives. Doctors and pediatricians agree that of the two choices, breast feeding has the most advantages over all. Not only does it have medical benefits, but it also has mental and physical advantages for all new mothers. Breast feeding also helps with bonding with that new bundle of joy. Although breast feeding requires time and patience, it all pays off in the end. Why? Mothers know that they have given their child the best start in their life. Breast feeding is known to be one of the greatest gifts that anyone can give her child in life and regardless of race and economical level, every woman should breast feed their child to start their little lives in the best way.

Those first moments after a mother gives birth are the most precious moments with that child. The moments are even better when they are spent nursing for the very first time. Nursing has been known to be the most beautiful bonding moment with your child that you'll ever have. The bonding with a newborn is extremely important in order for them to develop correctly. Even though there is a form of bonding with the bottle, it's not as strong of a connection as breast feeding. I still remember when I breast fed my son for the first time. Although I was extremely tired from fifteen hours of labor, I still remember the feeling of nothing but pure happiness. It was such a powerful feeling that I still remember to this very day!

On average, a woman may gain twenty-five plus pounds during her pregnancy. The best weight loss tip for any new mom is to breast feed a child. It's the quickest way to drop baby fat; so fast that you won't even have time to get new clothes. I know personally that I gained well over 70 pounds of weight while pregnant with my son. I was so worried about not being able to lose weight until after finshing with nursing. However, that was the craziest idea I've ever had! Once I started nursing my son, I lost over forty pounds in less than three months.  Breast feeding has also been shown to help decrease the chances of breast and ovarian cancer. It also helps with shrinking the uterus in the women after the birth of the child. Not only is there physical advantages, but there are many mental and emotional attributes also. One of those would be that a woman confidence will sky rocket. She'll also feel like she can do anything once she has mastered nursing.

Many differences exist between formula and breast milk that can't even be counted! One of those differences is in the contents. Did you know that there is aluminum in infant formula? Now ask any doctor what is in breast milk. Breast milk is as organic as anyone can come by these days! The most amazing thing is that no matter what is digested, the child will get the nutrients. The best way to insure a well-balanced diet is that the mother is on a diet that is specially designed for breast feeding. Although it requires sacrifices, it’s worth it all around. It has all the protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that your child will ever need in early life.  It's also been proven by pediatricians that if a child is breast fed they will have fewer food allergies then other children. It's even been shown to help strength the immunity system of an infant. Another difference between breast milk and formula is that there is no need to add water and to be warmed up. Breast milk is always the right temperature and is already made and ready for the infant to eat. The other major difference is cost! Formula can cost up to thirty dollars for a container of it, where breast milk is absolutely free. That is a deal that is hard to beat especially in tight financial situations.

Even though breast feeding is noted to be the best, there are some women who choose not to breast feed or cannot. Bottle feeding shouldn't be always be seen as the negative choice when it comes to feeding a child. One good reason to bottle feed would be that a mother can't get her breast milk to come in; therefore, that mother has no choice but to bottle feed her child. Furthermore, many times a mother may try to breast feed her newborn; however, the child is just not interested. Another issue is that it's quite difficult for a woman to breast feed a child when she has to work a forty plus hour work week. Women aren't always able to breast feed since they sometimes have to return to work. While they may return to the work field, they don't always have the time or privacy to pump breast milk while working. Many parents will also argue that the father needs to spend an equal part of time with the child; since a father can't possibly breast feed, it's essential that the child be bottle feed. Regardless of the benefits that associated with bottle feeding, breast feeding will always outweigh bottle feedings.

In conclusion, there are more reasons for a mother to breast feed verses bottle feed a child. It's one of those choices that are natural and also traditional in many ways. Women have been breast feeding for centuries; they never had bottles or formula back in cave women days! I personally believe that every woman who is a mother should breast feed her child. I've enjoyed every moment of it with my son. I also know that although there have been challenges; it was all worth it because I've given him a jump start in life. Organizations and clubs are located around the world and many are available free of cost to any new mother who makes the decision to breast feed. Just remember these three words: Breast is best!

For more information, contact Bay Area Breastfeeding Coalition, 989.895.4002.

© Michelle LaRue, 2009