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 her life. 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 everything she needs to sustain the first six months of her life. Thus most of the 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 ten 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 of the 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 formula are made up of cow’s milk, and babies usually take time to adjust them. Easy digestion further translates into less messy diapers, and the poop stinks lesser 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 the normal size. Feeding your baby also burns the extra calories without even doing any work. Read more about losing the belly fat here.
During the breastfeeding period mother’s body release 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 on postpartum hemorrhage click here.
Breastfeeding not only protects your child from different diseases, but also reduce your risk from 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 cost is 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 in case 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.
Besides imparting health benefits, breastfeeding also provides a natural opportunity to share an emotional bonding at the very beginning of your child’s life. It provides the joyful closeness and lays the loving foundation of mother and child relationship.
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. Make the right decision and help your baby in staying healthy for a long time.
Read Also: 16 Best Foods For Breastfeeding