Here is a link to a article citing 101 reasons to Breastfeed. I want to comment here on some of the top reasons in my opinion that you should consider when deciding whether to give it a try.
4. Not breastfeeding increases mother's risk of breast cancer. Many studies have shown that women who breastfeed have lower risks of developing breast cancer. Recently, data from 47 studies in 30 countries was re-examined. The study group concluded that the incidence of breast cancer in developed countries could be reduced by more than half if women had the number of births and lifetime duration of breastfeeding that have been common in developing countries until recently. According to the analysis, breastfeeding could account for almost two-thirds of this estimated reduction in breast cancer incidence.
This is very important considering the large increase of cancer.
5. Baby's suckling helps shrink mother's uterus after childbirth. The uterus of the non-breastfeeding mother will never shrink back to its pre-pregnant size. It will always remain slightly enlarged. "Nursing will help you to regain your figure more quickly, since the process of lactation causes the uterus (which has increased during pregnancy to about 20 times its normal size) to shrink more quickly to its pre-pregnancy size. "
I enjoyed easily loosing weight while breastfeeding.
6. Formula feeding increases baby girls' risk of developing breast cancer in later life Women who were formula-fed as infants have higher rates of breast cancer as adults. For both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, women who were breastfed as children, even if only for a short time, had a 25% lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who were bottle-fed as infants.
Now you know!
7. Formula Feeding is associated with lower I.Q.Human breast milk enhances brain development and improves cognitive development in ways that formula cannot. One study has found that the average I.Q. of 7 and 8 year old children who had been breastfed as babies was 10 points higher than their bottle fed peers. All of the children involved had been born prematurely and tube fed the human milk, indicating that the milk itself, not the act of breastfeeding, caused this difference in I.Q. level. Another study to support this statement was done in New Zealand. Here an 18 year longitudinal study of over 1,000 children found that those who were breastfed as infants had both higher intelligence and greater academic achievement than children who were infant-formula fed.
Wow! Just by breastfeeding you are insuring your children will be smarter!
11. Breastfeeding satisfies baby's emotional needs and increases bonding between mother and baby. All babies need to be held. There is no more comforting feeling for an infant of any age than being held close and cuddled while breastfeeding. In fact, studies have shown that premature babies are more likely to die if they are not held or stroked. Breastfeeding stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin in the mother's body. "It is now well established that oxytocin, as well as stimulating uterine contractions and milk ejection, promotes the development of maternal behavior and also bonding between mother and offspring."
There is a bond that just cannot be imitated by a bottle. The hormone oxytocin is a very calm inducing hormone.
13.Not breastfeeding increases mother's risk of developing ovarian cancer Based on the research, breastfeeding for a total of 12 to 24 months can reduce your risk of ovarian cancer by about one-third.
17. Breastfeeding protects against Crohn's disease (intestinal disorder)Crohn's Disease is a chronic intestinal disorder. It is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation extending into the deeper layers of the intestinal wall. It is difficult to treat, but several studies have shown that breastfeeding may help babies avoid developing the disease in later life.
18. Formula feeding increases risk of children developing diabetes. There are many studies linking development of insulin dependant Type I diabetes (formerly referred to as "juvenile diabetes") to lack of breastfeeding. The results of a study from Finland suggest that the introduction of dairy products at an early age, and high milk consumption during childhood increase the level of cow's milk antibodies in the children's systems. This factor is associated with an increased risk of insulin dependent diabetes. Now a new study has indicated that breastfeeding in infancy may help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. This sort of diabetes was formerly referred to as "adult onset" diabetes, but has been mysteriously occurring in more and more youngsters.
Very important information with the rise of obesity in our country.
20. Breastfeeding may help stabilize progress of maternal endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disease in which the endometrial tissue in a woman's body begins to form in places other than her uterus, such as on her ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the outer surface of the uterus. This tissue continues to function like uterine tissue would in the uterus, and sheds once a month during the woman's menstrual cycle. Since there is no vaginal outlet for this blood and tissue, painful complications, including sterility, may result. There is much clinical research showing that pregnancy temporarily stops the progress of this disease. Many women say that the disease also seems to be alleviated by breastfeeding. It certainly makes sense that the delay in the return of a woman's menstrual cycle would be desirable in preventing the endometriosis from starting up again. Some women even claim a permanent cure.
23. Formula feeding increases chances of baby developing allergies"Breastfed babies have fewer allergies than artificially fed babies. This is especially important if your family has a history of allergies. Many babies are allergic to cow's milk formulas. Some babies are even allergic to soy formulas. Breastfeeding protects against other allergies, such as atopic eczema, food allergies, and respiratory allergies."
24. Breast milk lowers risk of baby developing asthma. A number of studies have linked lack of breastfeeding to asthma. According to one study, six year old children were more likely to have asthma if they had not been exclusively breastfed for at least 4 months.
37. Formula-fed babies are more at risk for obesity in later life. A study of 32200 Scottish 3 year old children found that the incidence of obesity was significantly lower among those who had been breastfed, after adjusting for socioeconomic status, birth weight and gender. Another study, this one of Czech children, found that the even older children (6 -14) who had been breastfed were less at risk for overweight/obesity. Additionally, a German study found that 4.5% of formula fed children are obese, while only 0.8% of breastfed children have this condition.
49. Formula costs the government (and taxpayers) millions of dollars. The U.S. government spends more than $2,665,715 a year to provide formula for the children of non-breastfeeding mothers participating in the WIC supplemental food program. Of course, this doesn't take into consideration the additional costs of caring for those infants who are statistically much more likely to get sick. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, higher breastfeeding rates could reduce US health care costs by $3.6 billion per year.
I hope that before you comment you will read all the reasons they also cite references to their reasons. Now you know that what you choose to do should be decided more on the facts than what you feel like. There are many places online that will help you with any problems that you encounter if you want to breast feed. Even if you choose to formula feed at least you know the difference and that it's more than bottles or breasts.