Benefits of Breastfeeding

5 min read

Written by Bindu Raichura

Bindu Raichura

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is absolutely a personal decision of each mother. But before deciding, it is essential to know and understand the abundant benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and the baby. Some new mothers are confused about the decision of whether to breastfeed or formula feed.

In this article, we shall discuss breastfeeding, identifying if your baby is hungry, and also the benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and the baby. Don’t forget to check out the tips for new breastfeeding mothers. So let us get started.

In This Article

What is Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is a self-explanatory term. When a mother gets pregnant, she gets lactated and feeds her baby directly from her breast. In simple words, this is known as breastfeeding. Doctors recommend exclusively breastfeeding the baby until six months.

What is Colostrum and What are its Benefits?

Colostrum is the first thick milk that your breast produces immediately after childbirth. It is often known as liquid gold for its yellow color. It only lasts from three to six days after the delivery, and then it changes into mature milk with a thin texture. Mature milk has the appropriate levels of all nutrients required for the healthy growth of your baby, while colostrum is rich in nutrients and contains antibodies that enhance the immunity of your baby. The following are some of the benefits of colostrum:

  • It enhances your baby’s immunity and gut function
  • Prevents birth jaundice
  • Helps for better child development
  • Promotes healthy growth in premature babies
  • It helps your baby to adapt to the new world

Signs That Your Baby is Hungry

baby hungry sucking finger

How to know if your baby is hungry? The obvious answer would be – the baby cries when they are hungry. But, there are many other signs to identify if your little one is hungry:

  • Fuzziness
  • Opening their mouth and looking out for feed from your breast
  • Licking their lips
  • Sticking their tongue out
  • Chewing their fist

15 Benefits of Breastfeeding the Baby

Breastmilk is the perfect mix of all the nutrients and is the best food for a baby. The following are some of the benefits of breastfeeding for the baby:

  • Easily digested
  • It contains antibodies to help the babies fight against viruses
  • The risk of asthma or allergies is lower
  • Lower ear infections, respiratory tract infections, and gut infections are reduced
  • It reduces the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Reduces diarrhea and vomiting
  • Lower childhood Leukemia
  • Better vision
  • Less retinopathy due to premature
  • Lower infant mortality
  • Improved brain maturation
  • No cavities
  • Promotes healthy weight management
  • Protects the babies against type I and type II diabetes
  • Brings a connection between the mother and the baby through skin-to-skin contact
  • Enables a smooth transition to solid foods

10 Benefits of Breastfeeding For The Mother

mom breastfeeding baby

Breastfeeding not only helps the baby, but also is very helpful to the new mothers. Let us look at the top benefits of breastfeeding to mothers.

  • Enables quick weight loss after childbirth
  • Regulates the uterus to come back to the normal size
  • Lower postpartum depression
  • Promotes a positive vibe and closeness with the baby
  • Reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer
  • Pauses ovulation and menstruation
  • Lowers the risk of Osteoporosis
  • Reduces the risk of Type II diabetes
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Saves money from buying formula feed

How Long To Breastfeed The Baby?

How long to breastfeed your baby depends upon the growth and the needs of your baby. In general, it is recommended by doctors to breastfeed for at least six months or 24 weeks. Some babies might not be ready for solids even after six months. In that case, you may continue to breastfeed the baby until they are ready for solids exclusively.

Even after the introduction of solids, your baby has to breastfeed. Their requirement for solids will be at a minimum, and breastmilk will still be the primary source of food for them. Until 12 months, you have to balance between breastfeeding and solids parallelly.

After one year, it is your personal choice to breastfeed or not. Continuing to breastfeed will help your child gain more nutrients and better immunity.

Breastfeed Vs Formula Feed

 formula feed baby

There is always a difference between natural milk and manufactured milk. Though formula feed is made with proper nutrients, it cannot be equal to breastmilk. Let us look at the differences between breastfeeding and formula feed:

Digestion

  • Breastfeed: Easy to digest
  • Formula feed: Usually takes time for the babies to adjust and digest formula milk, especially for preterm babies.

Changes

  • Breastfeed: Your breastmilk will change according to your baby’s needs.
  • Formula feed: It just has the same levels of nutrients at all feeds.

Ease of Work

  • Breastfeed: Though it is difficult at first, breastfeeding will be smooth when your baby is settled to your breastmilk.
  • Formula feed: It is vital to wash and adequately sterilize the bottles and nipples and involves monotonous work

Money

  • Breastfeed: It saves the money of buying formula milk. You have to feed the natural milk every time your child needs it.
  • Formula feed: As your baby grows, they will require more formula milk. You may end up spending more on formula milk.

Breastfeeding always has the upper hand over formula milk. But, in some cases, the babies may be lactose intolerant. In such a situation, formula milk comes as a savior to the babies. Similarly, if you are suffering from any disease, you will not be allowed to breastfeed the baby. At that point in time, your baby has to depend on formula feed.

Tips For New Breastfeeding Mothers

If you are a new mother, keep in mind the following tips:

  1. You have to identify if your baby is hungry and feed them accordingly. Some babies may be fed every two to three hours. Some babies may require a feed every hour.
  2. The most common doubt of every new mom is – Is my child getting enough milk? Your baby is surely getting enough milk if they don’t lose more than 7% of the birth weight within a few days of delivery and fill up at least six diapers a day.
  3. It is very common for the milk to leak. Do not panic.
  4. Make sure to follow a proper diet.
  5. If you face difficulty or pain in breastfeeding, consult your doctor.
  6. There are different positions for breastfeeding. Choose the correct position that suits you best from the cradle, football, side-lying, cross-cradle hold, and laid-back ones.

Breastfeeding is a beautiful phase that every mother should experience. The health benefits of breastfeeding are abundant for both the mother and the baby. Have happy breastfeeding.

...
Bindu Raichura,

Read more.

Responses (0)

Please check a captcha

Want curated content sharply tailored for your exact stage of parenting?

Discover great local businesses around you for your kids.

Get regular updates, great recommendations and other right stuff at the right time.

cookie

Our site uses cookies to make your experience on this site even better. We hope you think that is sweet.