When supermodel and mom Gisele Bundchen famously declared that breastfeeding should be required by law, she re-ignited an age-old debate. Is breastfeeding really better? Bundchen isn’t the only one to tout the effects of feeding your offspring the old fashioned way (and we’ve all heard it burns up to 500 calories a day).
There is a downside too. Some women simply don’t make enough milk, their babies aren’t able to ‘latch on’ properly, other health issues or illnesses prevent it entirely, or for some women, it’s a fear that breastfeeding can lead to sagging and volume loss in breasts (an issue looked at in-depth in The Bra Book). Plus, sometimes it’s just plain painful!
So whether you prefer the bottle or the boob, here are seven good reasons to choose the latter.
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Plain and simple, breastfeeding burns calories! “Our bodies burn almost 20 calories to make just an ounce of breast milk. If your baby eats 19-30 ounces a day, that's anywhere between 380-600 calories burned,” says Joy Kosak, co-founder of Simple Wishes, a hands free pumping bra.
It can also help eliminate that post-preg pooch. “When you nurse, your body releases certain hormones that shrink your uterus back down to its former pre-pregnant size,” says Elisabeth Dale, author of Boobs: a Guide to your Girls.
What do both of these things mean? You’ll be back in your pre-pregnancy skinny jeans before you know it!