Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants. It has a nearly perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat — everything your baby needs to grow. And it’s all provided in a form more easily digested than infant formula. Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies. Plus, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea. They also have fewer hospitalizations and trips to the doctor.
While some women are unable to breastfeed, others simply choose not to. Studies show breastfeeding has major health benefits, for both the mother and her baby. However, the rate of breastfeeding is as low as 30% in some groups of women.
Breastfed infants are more likely to gain the right amount of weight as they grow rather than become overweight children. The AAP says breastfeeding also plays a role in the prevention of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). It’s been thought to lower the risk of diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers as well, but more research is needed.
BabyShopClub.com brings you 5 benefits, this overview of breastfeeding can help you decide.
1.Breast Milk Promotes a Healthy Weight
Breastfeeding promotes healthy weight gain and helps prevent childhood obesity. Studies show that obesity rates are 15–30% lower in breastfed babies, compared to formula-fed babies.
The duration is also important, as each month of breastfeeding reduces your child’s risk of future obesity by 4%.
Breastfed babies also self-regulate their milk intake. They’re better at eating only until they’ve satisfied their hunger, which helps them develop healthy eating patterns.
Babies fed on breast milk also have more leptin in their systems than formula-fed babies. Leptin is a key hormone for regulating appetite and fat storage.
2.Breast Milk Provides Ideal Nutrition for Babies
Breast milk contains everything the baby needs for the first six months of life, in all the right proportions. Its composition even changes according to the baby’s changing needs, especially during the first month of life.
During the first days after birth, the breasts produce a thick and yellowish fluid called colostrum. It’s high in protein, low in sugar and loaded with beneficial compounds. Colostrum is the ideal first milk and helps the newborn’s immature digestive tract develop. After the first few days, the breasts start producing larger amounts of milk as the baby’s stomach grows.
3.Breast Milk Contains Important Antibodies
When the mother is exposed to viruses or bacteria, she starts producing antibodies.
Breast milk is loaded with antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. This particularly applies to colostrum, the first milk. Colostrum provides high amounts of immunoglobulin, as well as several other antibodies.
Formula doesn’t provide antibody protection for babies. Numerous studies show that babies who are not breastfed are more vulnerable to health issues like pneumonia, diarrhea and infection.
4.Breastfeeding May Reduce Disease Risk
Breastfeeding has an impressive list of health benefits. This is particularly true of exclusive breastfeeding, meaning that the infant receives only breast milk.
It may reduce your baby’s risk of many illnesses and diseases, babyshopclub.com tells you some of them:
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS):
Breastfeeding is linked to a 50% reduced risk after 1 month, and a 36% reduced risk in the first year
Respiratory tract infections:
Exclusive breastfeeding for more than 4 months reduces the risk of hospitalization for these infections by up to 72%.
Colds and infections:
Babies exclusively breastfed for 6 months may have up to a 63% lower risk of getting serious colds and ear or throat infections.
Middle ear infections:
3 or more months of exclusive breastfeeding may reduce the risk by 50%, while any breastfeeding may reduce it by 23%.
Intestinal tissue damage:
Feeding preterm babies breast milk is linked with around a 60% reduction in the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis.
Exclusive breastfeeding for at least 3–4 months is linked with a 27–42% reduced risk of asthma, atopic dermatitis and eczema.
Inflammatory bowel disease:
Babies who are breastfed may be roughly 30% less likely to develop childhood inflammatory bowel disease.
Breastfeeding for at least 3 months is linked to a reduced risk of type 1 diabetes (up to 30%) and type 2 diabetes (up to 40%).
Breastfeeding for 6 months or longer is linked with a 15–20% reduction in the risk of childhood leukemia.
5.Breastfeeding May Make Children Smarter
Some studies suggest there may be a difference in brain development between breastfed and formula-fed babies. This difference may be due to the physical intimacy, touch and eye contact associated with breastfeeding.
Studies indicate that breastfed babies have higher intelligence scores and are less likely to develop problems with behavior and learning as they grow older
However, the most pronounced effects are seen in preterm babies, who have a higher risk of developmental issues.
Are There Breastfeeding Benefits for the Mother?
BabyShopClub.com tells you some of the benefits for mothers of breastfeeding. Come and see the precious of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding burns extra calories, so it can help you lose pregnancy weight faster. It releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth. Breastfeeding also lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It may lower your risk of osteoporosis, too.
Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of depression. Postpartum depression is a type of depression that can develop shortly after childbirth. It affects up to 15% of mothers. Women who breastfeed seem less likely to develop postpartum depression, compared to mothers who wean early or do not breastfeed.
Breastfeeding may prevent menstruation. Continued breastfeeding also pauses ovulation and menstruation. The suspension of menstrual cycles may actually be nature’s way of ensuring there is some time between pregnancies. Some women have even used this phenomenon as birth control for the first few months after delivery. However, note that this may not be a completely effective method of birth control.
Since you don’t have to buy and measure formula, sterilize nipples, or warm bottles, it saves you time and money. It also gives you regular time to relax quietly with your newborn as you bond.
If you are unable to breastfeed, then feeding your baby with formula is still completely fine. It will provide your baby with all the nutrients he or she needs.
However, breast milk also contains antibodies and other elements that protect your baby from illness and chronic disease.
Additionally, mothers who breastfeed experience their own benefits, such as convenience and reduced stress. As a plus, breastfeeding gives you a valid reason to sit down, put your feet up and relax while you bond with your precious newborn.