Breastfeeding is the most valuable gift which you can give to your newborn. It is the healthiest natural food for your baby and undoubtedly plays a significant role in their life. This process also helps develop a bond between the mom and the baby. While breastfeeding is the most common way of feeding newborns and very young babies, some mothers continue to have myths that may prevent them from breastfeeding their little ones. This article focuses on the top 12 benefits of breastfeeding your baby.
Breast milk contains all the nutrients which babies need for their growth and to stay healthy for a more extended period. Breast milk is easy to digest and provides your baby with everything they need to sustain the first six months of their life. For this reason, most pediatricians recommend exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of your baby’s life.
Breastfeeding offers so many benefits that can’t be measured, but here are 12 important benefits which breastfeeding offers for you and your baby.
The thick yellow first breast milk that is secreted just after birth from your breasts is known as colostrum, which acts as a ‘sanjivani booti’ in your child’s life. Yes, you got that right there! This milk is rich in nutrients and antibodies and helps to protect your baby. Although your baby sucks a very small quantity of colostrum during each feeding, there is no need to worry as it matches the amount which your baby’s tummy can hold at that time.
Exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months protects your baby from various types of illness. The protection given by mother’s milk is quite unique and can never be matched by formula milk. Formula-fed infants have increased cases of ear infections and diarrhea as compared to breastfed babies.
Breastfeeding is also helpful in reducing the cases of pneumonia, meningitis, asthma, and the risk of different allergies in your baby. Breastfeeding has also been shown to lower the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Read more about SIDS here.
Your breast milk also changes as your baby grows. Colostrum changes into the much-refined form of milk, which contains the perfect amount of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water, sugars, vitamins, and minerals. It provides all essential nutrients and antibodies which your baby needs for his proper development and growth.
Most infants can digest breast milk very easily as compared to formula or any other milk because breast milk contains certain enzymes that help the baby digest the milk. Moreover, proteins in the formula are made up of cow’s milk, and babies usually take time to adjust to them. Easy digestion further translates into less messy diapers, and the poop stinks less than formula-fed babies. Formula-fed babies pass stools that smell just like adult poop. Yew!.
Many studies suggest that exclusive breastfeeding to your babies for the first six months can help in improving your baby’s cognitive development. Some pieces of evidence support that children who were breastfed in their early life score higher on IQ tests and academics.
Breastfeeding is a great way of regaining your pre-pregnancy size more quickly as lactation triggers the contractions in the uterus and helps it to shrink to its normal size. Feeding your baby also burns the extra calories without even doing any work. Read more about losing belly fat here.
During the breastfeeding period, the mother’s body releases oxytocin hormone into the body, which stimulates the contractions in the uterus. These contractions shut off the maternal blood vessels effectively and discourage excessive bleeding in women. Women who choose not to breastfeed are often given synthetic oxytocin to prevent them from the hemorrhaging condition. To know more about postpartum hemorrhage click here.
Breastfeeding not only protects your child from different diseases but also reduces your risk of various grave health problems like type 2 diabetes, postpartum depression, ovarian and breast cancer. A study from Columbia University has found that Moms who breastfed were 1.5 times less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than those who didn’t.
Breastfeeding saves money. It eliminates the need for formula and related feeding supplies essentials. In breastfed babies, health care costs are also much less as they don’t get sick so often.
Breast milk is safe and always ready for your baby’s consumption due to its right temperature and availability. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the sterilization of bottles and nipples, which means fewer infections in your baby. If you are shopping with your baby, breastfeeding can save you from carrying excessive feeding supplies and this can make your experience much better and easier.
Mothers and their children bond more physically and emotionally when they breastfeed. During breastfeeding, a mother is more likely to hold her baby, stroke, and touch them. Some people believe that affectionate bonding during a child’s first year of life can help to reduce the chances of later social and behavioral problems.
An analysis of the data confirmed that breastfeeding significantly reduced the severity of respiratory illness in infants. At least six months of exclusive breastfeeding and up to a year of partial breastfeeding is found to reduce the risk of respiratory diseases and infections in infants.
Deciding to breastfeed your baby is your personal choice, but it’s important to get educated about all the benefits of breastfeeding before your baby arrives. Mother and child share a wonderful closeness through breastfeeding and it is a loving foundation for their relationship. Make the right decision and help your baby in staying healthy for a long time.
Yes, you can. Breastfeeding can help shrink back your uterus after delivery. It burns a lot of calories, thus helping you lose weight effectively.
Yes, it definitely does. Even the benefits of the mother’s vaccinations reach the baby through breast milk. Overall, it protects the baby from a number of health issues.
Yes, they can. Breastfeeding can reduce ear infections, colds, etc. The topical application of breast milk can also help many ailments.
Yes, it can. It reduces the risk of PPD. However, if the breastfeeding journey is tough, it can increase depression in new mothers.
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