Why Breastfeed? How it benefits everyone else

So, I've gone over a few reasons why breastfeeding is so healthy for babies and for moms. But guess what, the benefits don't stop there! Here are some other entities that are positively impacted by the breastfeeding relationship...

--Your wallet. Aside from the cost of optional nursing accessories, breastfeeding is absolutely free. Formula feeding for one year, however, costs between $700 and over $3,000 (source). Holey moley! I hope I get something nice for Oscar's birthday! :-D You will most likely save on medical bills, as well. Remember that antibody-laden breast milk I mentioned a couple posts ago? It is a widely-documented fact that breastfed babies do not get sick as often.

--Your husband. Guess who gets out of 3 a.m. bottle feedings?

Pictured: every night for the past year at the Downright Domicile

--Your washing machine. Exclusively breastfed babies' poop is completely water-soluble. If you are thinking of cloth diapering (and I hope you are! *wink wink*), rest assured that for those first months, cloth diapering is as easy as dumping the diapers in as-is (you don't really have to rinse or scrape or even touch them if you don't want to), run a beginning rinse to wash away the poop, and then wash as normal! It's that easy! But even if you decide not to cloth diaper, you will undoubtedly have the dreaded blowout. Now you know that you can just throw your clothes, blankets, and whatever straight in the wash.

--The Earth. Breastfeeding is probably the greenest way to get nourishment, short of going outside and eating grass. There is no factory, no packaging and bottles going to the landfill, no carbon emissions from that trip to the store for the food. Everything you need is neatly manufactured in one human body.

Now if only we could figure out how to manufacture one of these...

--The government. Our country has a lot funds tied into providing formula for low-income families and the extra medical care that often comes with formula feeding. I have seen numerous articles suggest that if every woman enrolled in the WIC program breastfed, it would save the country billions (!) in health care costs. I didn't know this until I started researching, but nearly half of all formula sales in this country are paid for by the government. Which means that every breastfeeding mother benefits...

--YOU, the taxpayer!

Well, I am plumb well benefitted out. So tomorrow, I will talk about a breastfeeding issue near and dear to my heart... low milk supply. I hope you are enjoying World Breastfeeding Week so far!

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