100 Awesome Things About Breastfeeding That You Won’t Find in Studies

Awesome things about breastfeeding not in studiesWe can share study after study after study about the benefits of breastfeeding, and we often do. But we all know there is more to breastfeeding than just what science says about it. Nursing your baby is an emotional labor of love that many consider one of the most sacred things they do with and for their babies.

So, what are some of those additional perks that science may gloss over? Let us just name a few…

1.  Looking in your baby’s eyes. All too soon she’ll be looking around and taking all the world in, even when nursing, so soak up that time where you can make that contact.

2.  Holding your sweet little one. Of course, you can do this whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Nursing is not exclusive to intimacy with your baby, and we know that. But, when he’s solely depending on your breast for sustenance, the holds vary and are precious.

3.  Getting a BREAK to sit down with a super good excuse.

4.  Makes you feel relaxed.

5.  It really is easier in the long run. We know, not everyone can, and we get it. But, we can’t deny that just opening our shirt for instant feedings is really convenient.

6.  Even after a busy, crazy, day with a baby and a bunch of other kids, you can look back and know that you held your baby a few times that day.

7.  Getting an extra hour of sleep after the morning wake up when you nurse them back to sleep.

8.  Being the person who feeds your baby skin to skin is a good feeling.  It is like you and only you fed somebody and helped them grow.  Amazing.

9.  You know when you are nursing a baby that you were productive that day even if the dishes need doing. You helped a human grow, birthed them and sustain them. Pretty impressive, mama.

10.  It magically makes them stay babies.  For real. Or at least it sure feels like it does.

11.  Babies and toddlers are quiet when they nurse. They move around, sure…but they’re quiet!

12.  Fixing sadness.

13.  Portable. Have milk, will travel.

14.  I wouldn’t recommend camping with kids.  But if you do choose such a thing, nursing makes it easier.

15.  No runs to the store.

16.  Breasts are easy to clean, and don’t usually need to be sanitized. (I am just kidding.  I never sanitize mine.)

17.  La Leche League- cool ladies, great friends.

18.  It just makes sense.

19.  Sneaking out of church to go to the mother’s room where it is quiet, you can hear the speaker, and hubby gets to sit with the kids!  Many a relaxing break in the nursing room…

20.  On the other hand, you can easily nurse in the middle of church so you don’t distract all the other kids that would want to follow you out!

21.  No getting up to prep anything in the middle of the night- it is a self-serve system! And in the middle of the night, that is so nice.

22.  Lactating breasts are like a free pharmacy for the whole family!  Ear infection, gooey eye, runny nose- NO PROBLEM!  A little milk can fix it up. Seriously, try it.

23.  Unoffensive poo. That cleans up off cloth diapers like magic. No, really, it does!

24.  Liquid diet for sickies means they still get nourishment when they are sick.

25.  Milk sharing.  It just makes a mama feel like she is helping someone when she can share milk with a friend who really needs it for their baby.

26.  One less thing to buy.

27.  Seems to magically calm the whole house.

28.  Helps you sit and reconnect with the other kids.

29.  Gives you time to read a little (before they are grabby) which is just so NICE when you are a busy mom.

30.  A meal that requires NO DISHES!!!!

31.  A meal that requires no preparation!

32.  A meal that requires no shopping!

33.  One less thing in the diaper bag.

34.  Happy baby on the plane!  Just nurse them and they don’t scream. Not that we care if they scream–they’re babies and that air travel is different on their bodies. But, nursing certainly seems to be a fix.

35.  Less hassle when they frisk you in security when you are getting ON the plane.

36.  MONEY- it is saved. And again, we know that everyone can’t nurse their baby for various reasons, but the financial aspect of breastfeeding is quite significant.

37.  No plastic.

38.  The little games they play that only you see while they nurse.

39.  Sweet nursing noises.  Nothing like a slurping baby.

40.  Getting thin faster.

41.  Of course, there is also the added bonus of being able to say, “I’m nursing, I need the extra calories,” as you mainline donuts.  Though admittedly, this may interfere with 40.

42.  Firm breasts for a few months again!  It is like being a teenager all over! Only this time, you know how to accentuate!

43.  Perspective.  It teaches you what your body is capable of and how little some of the sag matters. When the nursing journey is done, you’ll remember what those breasts really did.

44.  Milk drunk babies.

45.  Milky drool.  Cute.

46.  Sleepy milky smiles.

47.  Putting a baby to sleep with your body is really pretty special.

48.  Legal protection to nurse most anywhere.

49.  It pissed off Barbra Walters.

50.  Such HEALTHY babies!  The nursing baby is the healthiest person in the house. Doctors can’t get over it.

51.  Toddler calmer. Yes, you should still nurse your toddler if they are not ready to wean and you want to continue nursing. Society doesn’t get to tell you when to stop.

52.  You can travel light!  Baby, mama, diaper- GO!

52.  Sisterhood.

53.  It is fabulous to do something for your baby that nobody else can do.

54.  Feeling fabulous about something after you just had a baby can be a big bonus when your hormones are going wacko.

55.  Breastfeeding can help heal a birth that didn’t go as you planned.

56.  NO AUNT FLOW!!!!!!!!! Okay, mostly. We know, sometimes it does come back even before you’ve stopped nursing, but generally speaking, it gives you a break.

57.  A quiet phone call (while they nurse.)

58.  Makes you love them more. Then again, so does every little thing they do.

59.  Slows you down for a minute.

60.  Gives you a chance to cuddle with a toddler, either one you are nursing or one who is no longer the baby and needs somebody warm to sit with.

61.  Getting away with public nudity.  Come on, you know it is fun.  (I’m just kidding!  It isn’t sexual.)

62. Oxytocin. It’s pretty freaking fabulous.

63.  Builds confidence.

64.  Hello- you grew a baby- and now you are feeding one!

65.  Bonding. And yes, we know you bond with your baby no matter what, but there breastfeeding definitely gives a unique bonding.

66.  Night feedings don’t get much easier than rolling over.

67.  Never forget a snack.

68.  It is nice to be somebodies favorite person for a while.

69.  The original COMFORT food.

70.  Guilt-free comfort food.

71.  At the end of the day, after all the mistakes, I know at least I did one thing right.

72.  Teaches you about your baby.

73.  Gives you your first chance to teach your baby and work together towards a common goal.

74.  Builds a relationship without words.

75.  Strangely makes me feel like a feminist.

76.  Feels very feminine also.

77.  Snuggles. Oh, the skin-to-skin snuggles!

78.  A little person who loves you and doesn’t see chub or fluff, they just see a warm, soft, pillow.

79.  Memories for later.

80.  No leftovers.

82.  No waste.

83.  The self-satisfaction of knowing you did your part to save the ozone.

84.  Nursing- always a good answer/excuse/privilege!

85.  All of a sudden, breasts are multipurpose for real.

86.  Self-regulating.

87.  It is just cool when your milk lets down and then the baby wakes up.  Being totally in sync with another human is amazing.

88.  Increases and decreases as needed. Because your baby tells your body all it needs to know. Pretty incredible.

89.  Healthier mama.

90.  Happier mama.

91.  Sleep-feeding.

92.  Being needed.

93.  Needing somebody else.

94.  Dad can do so many things I can’t do, it is nice to have something that I can do special for the kids.

95.  Breastfed baby smell.

96.  Breastfed baby skin.

97.  I might not look that good in tights, but making milk is a superpower!

98.  Chatting with moms about nursing- it just is awesome to be able to share and learn and teach each other.

99.  Sometimes you just need a good reason to buy a new bra.

100. LOVE

 

Photo: SeventyFour/Shutterstock

(Thanks to the ladies on the Mama Birth Facebook page– I couldn’t have reached 100 without you!) Part of this post originally ran on the Mama Birth Blog on March 20th, 2012


20 thoughts on “100 Awesome Things About Breastfeeding That You Won’t Find in Studies”

  1. I love this! And am so proud of myself to still be breastfeeding my son who is almost 1 year old. 🙂 thank you for this!

  2. Love – and love the photo! Our daughter is 56 months (hee hee) and counting! She is STILL a milky girl and loves her ‘nuk’ time. Generally in the mornings when she wakes up and at night when we go to bed… co-sleepers in the family bed have made the most of ALL my super power!! Goooo Mama!! She loves my body more than I do. ;-D

  3. Wow…I love so very many of these…ok all of them. The ones about keeping them babies and getting time to hold a toddler are realy hitting home for me right now….nursing a very physical 2 year old is sometimes my only quiet peace during the day:). I also love #71….. Those day when I feel like I did it all wrong….I forget too often to give myself credit for just nursing. It is amazing, and I should be proud of our success at it!

  4. Wonderful! I have never been more proud of myself than when we made nursing work for us despite may “speed bumps” and almost throwing in the towel every single day for the first 2 months!

  5. Still going strong for 19 months now. Can’t imagine any other way. Rule #1 for me now…..don’t listen to hardly anything Western culture has to say about naturally raising babies. We co-sleep, sleep nurse, cloth diaper, teach sign language, sing and dance with our little guy. Thanks for the list!

  6. I breastfed all three of my children and still bf my youngest. He is three and has autism. Children with autism generally have trouble making eye contact and they usually shy away from close human contact. But we get lots of eye contact and closeness through breastfeeding. I am SOOO glad to have this connection with him.

  7. I loved that breastfed baby smell in the beginning but now it seems to have dissapeared! Maybe I just got used to it…
    Also, my LO does not seem to like nursing that much. She eats very fast and hates comfort nursing. She prefers her fingers, toys, burping cloth, anything but my nipples!

  8. Exclusive breastfeeding doesn’t guarantee your cycle won’t come back, mine came back 1 month after baby : ( we are still EBF at 5 months!

  9. I have bf both my twins together since birth they are now 21 months. I would add I don’t have to worry about sterilising bottles, breast milk comes at the correct temperature. Bf helped me battle the baby blues after a very difficult birth. Bf was the only thing that made me feel I could give my daughters something when I was in ICU and had to be separated from them. Thank you for this post.

  10. Wow…
    All points are so emotional.
    My son is 14 months old n I exclusively nurse him. But as he is teething he bytes my breat n iy bleeds n I have very sharp pain.. even when I feed hin I literally crying…
    What to do?

  11. Lovely. Reminding me of the 2 3/4 years I nursed my youngest. It was so friggin’ awesome. (Although I did get flack on a plane flight. One woman was offending by my nursing my 6 week old baby. Everyone else rose to my defense.)

  12. I am disappointed in how this list implies that women who choose (or have no choice but to) formula feed don’t get eye contact with their babies, or that they don’t get cuddle time, are not building a relationship without words… Virtually 80-90% of this list applies to mothers regardless of their feeding regime. I both breast fed and formula fed my babies and I can confidently say that except for #16, 22, 36 and maybe 82, this list is universal to all.

    1. The title isn’t 100 reasons breastfeeding is better than formula feeding. No reason to feel offended or get defensive. It’s all good.

  13. 58.…. Really? I support breastfeeding wholeheartedly, but I was unfortunately diagnosed with stage three breast cancer two months after my daughter was born and was no longer able to breastfeed for obvious reasons. However, having to bottle feed my child does not make me love her any less. I get that breastfeeding is the natural choice, but some of the ways it’s being put across make us moms who don’t have a choice feel as big as a cricket.

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