While breastfeeding can admittedly seem demanding because of the significant time commitment required (believe me, I know!), the benefits are well documented and the experience is priceless. Mother’s milk provides immunity against bacteria and viruses (less sick time for your little one), is easiest for your baby to digest and uncommon for your baby to be allergic to, is less expensive (more money for cute baby clothes or a college fund), and requires no preparation time (just pull up shirt and feed). Studies show that breastfed babies have fewer ear, respiratory tract, and diarrheal infections. They are also at lower risk for many childhood diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and obesity. And breastfeeding is not just good for baby; it has many documented benefits for mom including a decreased future risk of cancer and diabetes as well as a faster return to pre-pregnancy weight. Breastfeeding burns 300 to 500 calories per day—the equivalent of a 3-mile run! After all you’ve gone through, you deserve this nice payback.
(Excerpt from Mommy Calls: Dr. Tanya Answers Parents’ Top 101 Questions About Babies and Toddlers, AAP 2008)