Why Is Breastfeeding Important?

Breast milk is alive, formula, on the other hand, is a non-living substance. Your breast milk changes from meal to meal, day to day, and year to year as your little one’s needs evolve.

baby breastfeeding, baby at the breast
Mother breastfeeding her baby

Table of Contents

skin to skin contact, why is breastfeeding important
Dad is holding a baby on his arm.

Is Breastfeeding the Right Choice for Me?

When you start getting ready for your baby's arrival, we call this "nesting." You buy a few baby outfits and a crib, making a special space at home for your newborn.

Your body is also preparing a nest for your baby – your breasts. Your breasts provide warmth, safety, security, affection, and nutrition. Breastfeeding your baby is not just about their nutritional needs.

How Important is Breastfeeding?

Have you ever heard the phrase "Give the gift that keeps on giving"? Well, suppose you decide to breastfeed your baby. In that case, breastfeeding will benefit them and make a profound difference emotionally and physically for the rest of your child's life.

Giving Your Baby the Best Food

Formula does not come close to breast milk, which is often referred to as amazing liquid gold. Human breast milk contains all the vitamins, minerals, and living material your baby needs. Yes, breast milk is alive, and formula is a non-living substance. Your breast milk changes from meal to meal, day to day, and year to year as your little one's requirements change. Formula stays the same.

The living components of breast milk stop the growth of viruses and bacteria; not just that, but breast milk contains powerful anti-infectives. It is so powerful that it has been used to heal leg ulcers and to help treat cancer patients.

Without the food your baby intended to receive, they are at much higher risk of many issues, such as ear infections, gut problems, breathing issues, allergic reactions, and many more.

Breast milk is digested much easier than formula; therefore, a baby on formula has a higher risk of constipation, acid reflux, and colic symptoms. The formula-fed baby has a lot of waste to process, which can strain still-maturing kidneys.

Man-made Iron fortification is added to formula but is not easily used by a baby's body. This form of Iron often causes anemia and intestinal bleeding.

Formula Fed Babies Are at Higher Risk Of:

(these risks are for later years of their lives too)

  • SIDS
  • Crohn's disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Type 1 & 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity

The Importance of Colostrum

Colostrum is the clear fluid produced during the first few days after a baby's birth before your mature milk comes in. Your baby only needs small amounts of this. Colostrum contains high doses of immunological properties. This protects against all foreign substances from invading your baby's gut walls.

More Benefits of Colostrum and Mature Milk.

  • The laxative effect will help remove meconium (black tar-like poop) and control bilirubin (causing Jaundice).
  • Breast milk contains human growth factor that continues to develop organs.
  • Breast milk contains insulin for digestion.
  • It contains long-chain fatty acids for a healthy heart.
  • It contains lactose for a healthy brain.

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The Mechanics of Breastfeeding

  • Comfort feeding on the breast results in fewer speech issues later.
  • If your baby breastfeeds more, your breast will produce more milk, and in this way, your body produces just the right amount needed for your baby.
  • When your baby comes into contact with germs, it is communicated with your breasts when breastfeeding. Then immediately, your body starts to produce milk, full of specialized antibodies to fight that particular germ!
breastfeeding baby, baby nursing, good latch
Baby at the breast

How Does Breastfeeding Benefit You as a Mother?

  • Your uterus shrinks back to its original size. This does not happen if you formula feed.
  • Your period will stay away long after birth if you breastfeed exclusively. Your chances of falling pregnant immediately after delivery are also reduced.
  • Your body naturally stores some extra fat intended to be burnt while breastfeeding. Therefore it is supposed to be easier to lose postpartum pounds if breastfeeding.
  • Diabetic mothers usually need less insulin while breastfeeding.
  • A mother who breastfeeds has lowered the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  • She also has a reduced risk of breast, uterine, and cervical cancer. The longer you breastfeed, the more you benefit from this protection.
  • Lowered risk of Osteoporosis.
  • Mothers who breastfeed are at lower risk of postpartum depression.
  • You get to sit down and relax during the times that you breastfeed.
  • You save time and money! No need for formula. No measuring, mixing, heating, or cleaning. Your breast milk is always at the right temperature.

The Bond

The womanly art of breastfeeding says it so nicely...
‘weaving an emotional cord to replace the umbilical cord.’
‘bottles fill his stomach, but breastfeeding fills his soul.’

There is a flood of hormones in a mother's body every time she breastfeeds her baby. The hormone (Oxytocin) is specially designed to make you feel good and also make you feel devoted and nurturing towards your baby. When mothers formula feed, they have less connection and interact and touch their babies less than those who breastfeed. A lactating mother will respond with her whole body when her baby cries.

Skin-to-skin contact is more likely to occur during breastfeeding than during formula feeding.

You will eventually be your baby's source of comfort and food. You will get to know them better than anyone else because you provide something nobody else can.

You will now have a handy, sneaky tool to help you calm your baby when hungry, tired, fearful, or in pain. Your Boo Boos will fix it all. And you will wonder how difficult things would have been without them.

A Natural Gut Healer

Maybe if more people were breastfed, we wouldn't need to use a cow's colostrum to heal us.

  • The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers, by Dr. Jack Newman & Teresa Pitman
  • So That's What They're For, by Janet Tamaro


The womanly art of breastfeeding, 8th edition, Chapter 1, nesting - is breastfeeding right for me? How important is breastfeeding?


Every Newborn Baby Should Be Allowed to Breastfeed
by Harry (United States)

"I want to start by saying I do not advocate drying the mother's breast via injection and starting the baby on the bottle at birth as the doctors did in the 1970s. However, I'm about to lay out a stronger argument in favor of breastfeeding than merely "it bonds the baby closer to the mother (which it does).

During the first day or so of breastfeeding after the baby is born, the breast milk contains collagen that is important for a sound immune system against diseases, not only as a baby but also throughout that person's entire life.

In the 1990s, I started noticing many co-workers at work, who were about ages 19, 20, 21 & 22, complain that they got sick more often than some of us older folks do. One of those young ones even said he gets sick like clockwork. And many were allergic to lots of things. Those younger co-workers were the generation born through the 1970s. And when I got up the nerve to ask, they all said they were never breastfed as babies.

I was born in 1954, before doctors started that practice, and had been working since 1973, and never seen so many folks I knew come down sick until about the 1990s. Now here's some of my own experience. In July 2004, I purchased 14 acres of rural, wooded land in Northern Arkansas and built a cabin home. It was my first home that was mine that I didn't have to rent. I lived in substandard conditions for the first few years while building my house with my own hands.

I had no running water or electricity. I would eliminate waste into a box, bag, or what was handy, then burn it. There were times I came close to freezing to death that first winter...literally. Snow blew in on my blankets into my partly built house. I was boiling captured rainwater with mosquito larvae in it or dipping from rivers and streams for drinking and cooking because businesses in town got tired of me hauling away some of their potable water (like it was going to break them).

The dogs that hunted and ate rabbits and armadillos snuggled under the blankets to keep me warm while I slept at night. I would bring deer road-kill for my dogs and cook and eat some for myself, not knowing how long the deer had been lying on the roadside. I could do no better then because, throughout my lifetime, I never had those lavish, plush incomes of $15 to $25 per hour like folks I know who work for the oil and gas companies or in white-collar jobs. Most times, I'm lucky to find a minimum wage job and be thankful to have it, so my "third world living standards" were the best I could do when I was getting started.

Those young co-workers I knew in the 1990s would not have survived to live the way I did from 2004 through about 2008. Their immune systems would not have been strong enough. Some folks would die of sickness, living the way I did for those four years. Some folks say, "I don't plan for my child to go through that when they are older. Some folks don't plan on a car wreck, so they don't wear a seat belt. Some folks don't plan on their boat sinking, so they bring no floatation devices aboard.

Every newborn baby should be allowed to breastfeed. It is good to have an excellent immune system. One never knows what's ahead down the Road of Life."