You've made the decision to live frugally. You're doing what you can to live within your means. And now, you're pregnant. How can you give your baby the best nutrition possible and still live within your budget?
Breastfeed! Breastfeeding is the single most important thing you can do to protect and promote your baby's good health, and it's free!
In addition to saving money on Human Milk Replacement (HMR), breastfeeding can also keep your medical bills down. Formula- fed babies are sicker more often and more seriously than breastfed babies. They have more ear infections, respiratory infections, and gastrointestinal upsets. Breastfeeding means fewer trips to the doctor and / or pharmacy.
This can be especially true when your family has a history of allergies. When a baby breastfeeds, antibodies pass from the mother to the baby and help protect him against illness and allergies. As his system matures, his body begins to make its own antibodies, and he is better equipped to handle food sensitivities. Because breastmilk is continually changing to meet your baby's needs, HMR can not adequately duplicate the beneficial properties of breastmilk.
Sucking at the breast helps with the development of the jaw alignment and cheekbone development. Because of this, there is less likelihood of needing costly orthodontic work when the child is older.
Breastmilk is convenient. It's always ready, always available, and always the right temperature. It contains all the vitamins and minerals that your baby needs, saving you money. Another built-in advantage is that the mother needs to take time to sit with her baby. This ensures that she takes the time to relax - in our hustle and bustle world new mothers often try to do too much, too early.
Breastfeeding has many benefits for mother as well. The baby's sucking at the breast causes uterine contractions right after birth, leading to less bleeding for the mother, and returning the uterus to its pre-pregnancy shape much faster. Breastfeeding burns calories - so a mother can lose weight faster than if she were bottle-feeding her baby. Breastfeeding creates a bond between mother and baby, helping the mother learn her baby's cues and signals faster. This makes mothering her baby easier.
Information to help you breastfeed your baby is available from La Leche League, lactation consultants, and nursing mother groups. Look in your telephone directory, in community bulletin boards, or inquire at your maternity ward or community health department. Additionally, you may wish to check out the references following this article. These sources can also provide you with information about special breastfeeding situations, such as relactation, adoptive breastfeeding, and breastfeeding while working. Breastfeeding is the first step in a healthy, cost-efficient lifestyle for your baby. The long- term benefits are priceless - for you and for your baby!
Gina Rozon is the mother of two happy, healthy, (formerly breastfed) children. She has a home-based business doing income tax returns and homeschools her children.
Paulette Bulger is an at-home mother of two children. She enjoys working on her computer, knitting, and reading. She's also a volunteer with an international women's organization.
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