Breastfeeding is a special experience for many reasons – the joyful bonding with your baby, the cost savings, and the health benefits for both you and your baby. But it’s not always easy.
Early breast milk, colostrum, is known as liquid gold because the thick yellow appearance is very rich in nutrients and antibodies. By the fifth day after birth, your breasts produce what is called mature milk. This milk contains the right balance of fat, sugar, water, and protein for your newborn. Breast milk is much easier for your baby to digest than formula because the proteins found in formula come from cow’s milk and are difficult for your baby’s belly to process. The cells, antibodies, and hormones in breast milk protect babies from illness. Studies show that breastfed babies also have a lower risk of health complications later in life such as obesity, asthma, type 2 diabetes, and childhood leukemia.
Breastfeeding may initially take more effort than formula feeding, but once you and your baby settle into a routine, it is less of a hassle than dealing with bottles and plastic nipples.