Parenting

What Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding

What Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding

Key Takeaways

  • Physicians and other healthcare providers strongly recommend breastfeeding.
  • The components found in breast milk protect your baby from various illnesses. 

Through the years, breastfeeding has proven its effects and importance to newborn babies. Still, some moms refuse to breastfeed their babies. But in case you change your mind, here are some useful pieces of information about breastfeeding.

Physicians and other healthcare providers strongly recommend breastfeeding. Breast milk is specifically designed for your baby, as it provides the specific nutrients needed for growth and development. In addition, breast milk is available whenever your baby needs it. Breastfeeding is not only beneficial to your baby, but to you as well. Breastfeeding is recommended during the first six months of infancy. But, it does not stop there. During the baby’s first two years, breast milk should still be given alongside soft foods.

As your baby grows, the breast milk adapts to meet the needs of your baby. The benefits of breastfeeding last through adulthood.

Benefits for the baby

Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby. It has all the nutrients your baby needs. The components found in breast milk protect your baby from various illnesses. Breast milk has antibodies that fight against bacteria and viruses. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of asthma, infections, type 2 diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome, lower respiratory tract infections, childhood leukemia, eczema, ear infection, obesity, diarrhea, vomiting, and cardiovascular diseases in adulthood. 

According to some studies, higher IQ scores in childhood have been associated with breastfeeding. Also, research has shown that breastfed babies have a better response to vaccines compared babies who have no been breastfed.

Benefits for the mother

The benefits of breastfeeding extend to the mother as well. The more a mom breastfeeds, the greater the benefits she will gain.

Such benefits include:

  • Decreased rates of breast cancer and ovarian cancer
  • More time to spend with your baby
  • Lowers your risk of having osteoporosis
  • Decreased risk of obesity and heart disease
  • Burns calories thus, can help shed the weight you gained during pregnancy
  • Reduced uterine bleeding after giving birth
  • Helps your uterus return to its normal size quickly
  • You’ll rarely miss work to take care of your sick baby

Formula milk verses breast milk

Save time and money buy not opting for formula milk. Formula milk cannot provide the same protection given by breast milk. It also does not provide any health benefits for your baby. Breast milk is more easily digested than formula milk since formula milk is made from cow’s milk. It will take time for the baby to adjust digesting formula milk. Physical contact is very important for newborns. Their contact with their mothers gives them security, comfort, and warmth.

On rare occasions, breastfeeding is not advised by physicians. It is because there are medicines or illegal drugs that can pass through the breast milk, which can harm the baby. Alcohol could also pass through the breast milk.