10 Reasons Why
Breastfeeding Doesn't Suck...

1. You'll feel far less crazy (we promise!)
A study of postpartum mamas found that those who breastfed their babies showed far less anxiety and more mutuality at one month postpartum than those who didn't.

2. It lowers the risk of childhood cancers
One study found the risk of childhood cancer in formula-fed children was 2-8 times that of long-term breastfed children. The risk for short-term formula feeders was 1-9 times that of long-term breast feeders.

3. ...And breast cancer in mamas!
Get this: If women who breast fed for less than 3 months were to stick it out for 4 to 12 months, breast cancer among parous premenopausal women could be reduce by 11%. And if they stayed with it for 24 months or longer, those risks could be reduced by nearly 25%.

4. Smart kids rule
Studies show that breastfed babies have significantly higher IQs by 8 years old than babies who didn't breastfeed -- even after adjusting the stats for differences between groups and Mom's educational and social class.

5. You could save on braces
The longer you breastfeed, the lower the liklihood that baby will suffer from malocclusion -- aka a fancy word for misalignment of the teeth and dental arches.

6. It cuts down on childhood obesity
Breastfeeding has long been tied with reducing the rate of childhood obesity, regardless of Mom's diabetes or weight status.

7. Allergies and ailments are no biggie
Respiratory wheezing, influenza, diarrhea, allergies, and eczema are way less common in breastfed babies -- think about all those trips to the doc you won't have to make!

8. It saves lives -- and government money!
If just 90% of US mamas breastfed exclusively for 6 months, not only would an estimated 900 babies live, but the United States would save $13 billion per year. (Yep, $13 BILLION.)

9. Oh, and it'll save you a ton of cash, too
Believe it or not, formula supplies for just six months can cost upwards of $1,000.

10. You'll fit into your skinny jeans faster!
Breastfeeding burns an average of 500 calories a day. Yes, really. Need we say more?

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The Lowdown on Breastfeeding:
We asked, you answered…

From nursing in public to weaning pressures, find out what thousands had to say on these topics and more in our latest breastfeeding poll.

Photo: Veer

Over the last few months, we polled thousands of women – some pregnant, some new moms, some who haven't yet started their families, and even some who aren't planning to – and asked them all to weigh in with their thoughts, experiences, and opinions when it comes to breastfeeding.

So what did we find? Turns out, most women polled agreed that BFing is just about the best thing a mama can do for her baby – and herself. (In fact, a whopping 73% of women felt this way.) But what really shocked us? Despite being considered so natural and beneficial, breastfeeding anywhere but home still makes some mamas think twice. Not only did 40% of new moms say they would only do it in public if absolutely necessary, but 23% refuse to do it at all! What's more, 20% of non-moms answered "Eww, in private please!" when asked what they thought of public breastfeeding. Which begs the question: How can something most of us see as so "natural" still be considered so taboo and uncomfortable – especially by other women?

Read on for some other interesting factoids we unearthed...

On breastfeeding problems

-56% of first-time moms reported trouble BFing and 41% still had issues with Baby #2 and beyond.

-76% of mamas who had difficulty breastfeeding had help from a lactation consultant or coach in the hospital, while 19% still sought help from a professional lactation consultant after coming home.

On the pressure to breastfeed

-45% of moms feel women today are definitely pressured to breastfeed.

On weaning

-46% of women polled (and 54% of moms) think breastfeeding moms are pressured to wean before they'd like to.

-30% of all respondents feel the "right" age to wean baby is between 7 months and 1 year, while the largest percentage of moms (38%) think it should happen naturally when baby is ready.

On breast milk vs. formula

-79% of women polled felt that breast milk is healthiest for baby, while 19% believe formula to be just as healthy.

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