Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, it’s essential to gather all the facts before you make a decision. There’s a lot of information filtering around the internet daily on the pros and cons of women breastfeeding. Some of it may influence you to give breastfeeding a shot. Other facts may turn you away from the idea of breastfeeding altogether.

The old saying goes, “breast is best.” But is it? When it comes to finding the best option for you and your baby, it truly depends on what works for you. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to raising your child the right way. But having a clear understanding of the different ways to nourish your child for healthy development will help you make the most educated choice.

Whether you’ve nursed your child before, or are exploring your options as an expectant mother, here are some facts about women breastfeeding that everyone should know. Let’s take a closer look at what happens during the mother/baby time while you’re bonding with your little one over a feeding.

Little Known Facts All Women Breastfeeding Should Know

Here are 16 facts about breastfeeding that you might not have heard before:

  • Your baby can differentiate between your breastmilk and another woman’s breastmilk. That’s because every mother’s breast milk has a unique scent. So, your baby can literally use their sense of smell to get to your milk when they are hungry.
  • The nourishing elements of breastmilk aren’t its only beneficial properties. Breastmilk also has healing components to it. It provides a great source of relief, primarily when used on sore spots on your breasts from feeding. If your boobs are sore from breastfeeding your little one, try massaging some milk on the sore spots to make them feel a bit better.
  • It’s no secret that babies are expensive! One of the most valuable benefits of breastfeeding is that it saves parents the expense of formula. Believe it or not, studies have shown that breastfeeding can save between $2,000-$4,000 in costs during the first year of your child’s life.
  • Babies that are breastfed have a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome, also known as SIDS.
  • Breastfeeding your child can reduce their risk of several diseases later in life. This includes:
    • Asthma
    • Leukemia
    • Obesity
    • Type I Diabetes
    • Type II Diabetes
    • High Blood Pressure
    • Hodgkin’s Disease
    • High Cholesterol
    • Chrohn’s Disease
    • Ulcerative Colitis
    • Eczema
  • In addition to reducing the risk of disease in your child, breastfeeding can reduce a mother’s risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, breast cancer, and ovarian cancer.
  • Breastfed babies are sick less often. That’s because your breastmilk gives your baby’s immune system a significant boost. This helps them fight viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections as they grow. Breastfeeding can reduce your baby’s risk of disease, including:
    • Respiratory Tract Infections
    • Ear Infections
    • Bacterial Meningitis
    • Urinary Tract Infections
    • Pneumonia
    • Common Colds
    • Flu
    • Diarrhea
  • You can breastfeed even though you’re sick. By the time your symptoms actually arise, your baby has already been exposed to the virus or bacteria that your own body is fighting. They are also exposed to the antibodies your own body is making to fight the illness, which is beneficial to your baby.
  • The amount of milk you produce actually has nothing to do with the size of your breasts. Milk production has to do with several factors, including your body energy, hydration, and the foods you eat.
  • Breastfeeding isn’t just good for your baby, it’s good for you as well. Breastfeeding helps mothers heal faster in postpartum. It lowers the overall postpartum blood loss and releases hormones that help your uterus bounce back to a pre-pregnancy size more quickly.
  • Breastfeeding can also help you return to your pre-baby weight. Your body burns around 1,000 calories a day, just producing your breast milk. Studies show that breastfeeding daily burns the same amount of calories as walking 7 miles would in a day. This is why women are advised to consume around 500 extra calories a day to keep the body from going into starvation mode.
  • Your baby can actually get a slight taste of the food you eat through your breastmilk. This makes introducing them to the taste of solid foods a little easier later on.
  • Skin-to-skin contact during the first few hours of life can help with breastfeeding. It helps your baby’s instincts to latch. Early skin-to-skin contact can also help your breasts connect so closely with your baby that you can detect even one-degree fluctuation in your baby’s body temperature. Your body will actually adjust to heat up or cool down your baby.
  • Almost 75% of moms produce more milk in their right breast, regardless of what hand is more dominant.
  • There is never a need to dilute or change your breast milk because your body will do that for you. You can rest knowing that your body makes the perfect milk for your baby. Women’s milk changes depending on the needs of her baby, shifting its nutritional profile as your baby grows. Tampering with breastmilk can cause damage to your baby.
  • Breastfeeding reduces your baby’s risk of cavities and can lower the chance that your child will need braces when they get older.
  • Breastfeeding helps everyone sleep better. Not only does breastmilk contain substances that promote sleep and calmness in babies, but it helps keep you calm so you can bond to your baby. In fact, moms who breastfeed report sleeping 45 minutes more a night compared to those who formula feed.
  • Breastmilk comes from more than one hole in the nipple. The number of holes varies from mom to mom.
  • Last, but certainly not least, there’s a reason they call breast milk liquid gold. You can find breast milk for sale online for prices of up to $4 an ounce!

To learn more about breast vs. formula feeding, connect with parents just like you here.

Women breastfeeding vs. formula feeding is a huge debate. Read these facts you might not know about breastfeeding. Get connected with other parents here!