breastfeedingWhen I had my daughter in 2009, I remember being frazzled by a revolving door of nurses coming in to check on me. This was alternated with a team of not one, but three lactation consultants (or shall I say breastfeeding commandos) checking to see if my milk had come in and to ensure that breastfeeding my baby was the only thing on my mind. It was pure mayhem.

This was about the same time that “all things baby” took us by storm boppy pillows, fancy breastfeeding cover blankets, mega-super-power breast pumps, and Fenugreek for lactation stimulation. It was also around that same time that a breastfeeding law was established to provide nursing break times and designated “lactation rooms” for moms.

Why all this craze about nursing? When I asked my mom what she fed us back in the 70s and 80s, she said most people she knew resorted to formula feeding. If a mom’s milk didn’t come in, nobody sweated it formula was an easy go-to. There was no widespread knowledge of Fenugreek or pumping marathons for determined-to-breastfeed moms. So why all the enthusiasm now?

There have been many studies on breastfeeding performed over the years, and numerous benefits have been found to be associated with breastfeeding.

Aside from saving thousands of dollars in formula, here are a few reasons why you should hop on the breastfeeding bandwagon:

1) Emotional benefits such as bonding with your child;

2) Decreased risk of diseases including lower respiratory infections, gastroenteritis, otitis media, and certain childhood cancers;

3) Lowered risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS);

4) Lowered risk of health conditions including obesity, asthma, diabetes,and postneonatal death;

5) And health benefits for mom, such as lowering the risk for breast and ovarian cancers, Type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as helping to maximize metabolism.

Well, no wonder why moms are going crazy over nursing; it’s great for both baby and mom. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the baby’s first six months to optimize these benefits.

If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, schedule a visit with your baby’s pediatrician for helpful tips.