Why do you choose to breastfeed?

Lately, there has been a plethora of articles debating a mother's choice to breastfeed. Do women choose to breastfeed because of the increased health benefits for them and their babies? Do they choose not to breastfeed because they have heard it will hurt and make their boobs sag? Whether a mom has sore nipples, twins, a premature baby, or a difficult birth scenario, it seems like the choice to continue breastfeeding often comes down to whether the mom has the appropriate support system in place, as is described on my favorite new web site, Best for Babes.
I always start my prenatal breastfeeding class by asking the soon-to-be moms to state one benefit of breastfeeding and one concern they have about breastfeeding. While I listen to my moms list the benefit that is most important to them, I haven't really thought about my own reasons for why I support breastfeeding.

Here are my Top 10 Reasons I Choose to Breastfeed

10. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of obesity.

9. Breastmilk is free; formula is expensive.

8. Breastmilk is always available, no matter where you are or time of day.

7. Breastmilk has never been recalled due to manufacturing problems.

6. Breastfeeding protects again respiratory infections and ear infections.

5. Breastfeeding protects against SIDS.

4. Breastmilk provides perfect infant nutrition.

3. Breastmilk provides on-going immunity to the baby, as well as helps to build the baby's own immune system.

2. Colostrum seals the baby's gut closed, providing immediate protection from infection and disease.

1. Breastmilk is what nature intended for women to feed their babies. If I had the milk, then I planned on giving it to my baby.

For 91 more reasons to choose to breastfeed, see the list of 101 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Child at ProMoM, Inc.