Soon-to-be mothers are faced with many decisions. One major decision a mother must make is whether or not she will breastfeed her child or instead use formula. There is no doubt that breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby and is superior to all other forms of infant feeding. There are many reasons a mother chooses to breastfeed her child. Following are the top three reasons I’m choosing to breastfeed my son:

1. Healthiest for Baby

Breastfeeding is without a doubt the best and healthiest option for baby, even the formula companies cannot debate this.  In fact, formula feeding is the 4th best option for baby after breastfeeding, expressed milk from the breast, and donor milk. Breastfeeding is recommended by both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and The World Health Organization (WHO).  There are numerous health benefits that breastfeeding provides for the baby.  For example, breastfeeding helps defend against infections. As a mother breastfeeds, her antibodies are passed to her nursing infant. These antibodies contribute to the infant’s immune system and help to defend against disease and infections. Another health benefit is that human milk also reduces the risk of respiratory and digestive infections.

2. Bonding

Breastfeeding releases the hormone Oxytocin, also known as the “mothering” hormone, which promotes bonding between a mother and her baby. The one-of-a-kind bonding time that a mother shares and experiences with her baby, by breastfeeding, is a major reason that I’m choosing to breastfeed.  The bonding that accompanies breastfeeding promotes s a special closeness between mother and baby and also forms a lasting and deep attachment.

3. Healthiest for Mama

Not only does breastfeeding have numerous health benefits for baby, but it also has many benefits for mom. For example, a positive breastfeeding experience not only empowers a woman but it can also raise her self-esteem and contribute to her feeling good about herself. Breastfeeding can also reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. In addition, there is also research that suggests that a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer can be reduced by about one-third by breastfeeding for a total of 12-24 months. A research study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) also suggests that the longer a woman breastfeeds, the less likely she is to develop endometrial cancer.

Do you plan on breastfeeding? Why or why not? Did you choose to breastfeed?