We all know that there are benefits to breastfeeding. The most important to me have been cost, convenience, and the relationship it has fostered with me and my babies.
Health is certainly a factor. No formula can replace breastmilk. But a benefit I didn't encounter with my first has just come up with my second.
Last week while out of town for Thanksgiving, pretty much everyone we knew got a nasty stomach bug. People had vomiting, diarrhea, fevers, or all three. I hoped my 11 month old would be spared. She wasn't, but she did not seem as sick as many others. She threw up twice--but only when she ate solid food. She has kept breastmilk down 100% of the time.
So I've kept her on only breastmilk for the last 24 hours. She hasn't thrown up again and has received plenty of nourishment and hydration.
Two weeks ago I was seriously considering weaning because she was biting me so hard, now I'm glad I didn't. Plus in that time she learned the sign for milk and has never bitten me when she requests it so obviously with sign language.