Breastfeeding Benefits:30 Reasons Why Breastfeeding a Baby is Important
Breastfeeding is one of the most healthy foods a baby can take and helps a baby in more ways than one.
30 Reasons Why Breastfeeding a Baby is Important
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports breastfeeding and endorses exclusive breastfeeding for a period of six months, before transitioning to mixed feeding (breast milk and solid foods)
The World Health Organization (WHO) also supports breastfeeding although it advocates breastfeeding until the child is two years.
The first milk that comes from a woman’s breasts, called colostrum, contains important antibodies that help build your baby’s immune system and also prevent bacteria and other illness-causing pathogens.
Colostrum is produced from the early days of your pregnancy and this production lasts all through your pregnancy to a few days after you deliver. It is the ideal food for your baby as it is low in fat, high in protein, carbohydrates, and the antibodies secretory immunoglobulin A (slgA). It is also very easy to digest, making it all the greater.
Read Also: How Long Should I Breastfeed My Child?
As you breastfeed daily, you will notice the colostrum starts to dry up to be replaced by lighter breastmilk which is just as healthy and nutritious.
Breastfed babies get a whole lot of benefits from this nutrition-type, chief of which is better health (fewer trips to the hospital than babies who are bottle-fed).
Breastfeeding a baby is great and offers the following benefits:
Breastfeeding Benefits for Your Baby
- Breastmilk is the whole package and contains the right blend of nutrients and vitamins needed by your baby. Breastfeeding a baby ensures your baby gets these nutrients in the right quantity.
- Breastmilk changes as your baby grows, adapting to meet not just her feeding needs, but her nutritious ones as well. With this, you are saved from having to guess if your baby is on the right diet for her age and if she is getting adequate nutrients to aid optimal development.
- It fosters a quick bonding between you and your baby and this skin-to-skin contact is also necessary for your baby to thrive. Research has shown that a mother holding a baby close to her skin as she breastfeeds creates a deeper bond between mother and child.
- Babies who are breastfed show a lower risk of developing Type 1 and 2 diabetes.
- It also lowers your baby’s risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDs).
- Babies who are breastfed have stronger immune systems. Getting the right blend of vitamins and nutrients at the right time helps build their immunity.
- They also have fewer incidences of respiratory ear infections.
- Breastfed babies have a reduced risk of developing celiac disease or Chrohn’s disease.
- Breastfeeding a baby also reduces your baby’s risk of developing childhood cancer.
- Breastmilk is easily digestible and contains just the right amount of nutrients your baby needs, as opposed to cow’s milk which twice as much protein as your baby can digest.
- Baby girls who are bottle-fed have a higher risk of developing breast cancer later on.
- Lower IQ has also been linked to bottle-fed babies
- Breastfeeding a baby helps the baby pass out meconium, the first stool in a baby that gets formed while still in the womb.
- Breastmilk also contains a huge deposit of macrophages, a cell known for destroying bacteria that get into the body.
- Breastmilk doesn’t just satisfy your baby’s hunger needs, but her emotional ones as well.
- It also helps reduce your baby’s risk of developing Crohn’s disease later on.
- It reduces your baby’s risk of developing allergies and asthma.
- Research has shown that formula-fed babies have an increased risk of experiencing obesity later on.
- Breastmilk acts as a natural pain relief for your baby.
- Breastmilk is also a natural tranquilizer for your baby.
- Breastmilk is always at the right temperature and doesn’t have to be heated up, saving you time and energy.
- Breastfeeding a baby also protects as well as reduces their risk of health complications like meningitis, infection, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Breastfeeding Benefits for the Mother
- Breastfeeding, especially when you breastfeed completely with no formula introduced, acts as a natural birth control method as it delays ovulation and menstruation.
Most women who carry out exclusive breastfeeding report having no or fewer need for birth control as this act acts as a natural birth control method to keep pregnancies at bay.
- Breastfeeding a baby also reduces your risk of developing ovarian or breast cancer.
- Breastfeeding speeds up your post-delivery as your body releases oxytocin, a hormone that helps your uterus contract and return to its pre-pregnancy stage.
- It is also a good way to burn off the baby fat as you burn as much as 500 calories daily when you breastfeed.
- Breastfeeding also reduces your risk of developing postmenopausal osteoporosis.
- Breastfeeding is a lot cheaper than formulae feeding as you are saved from having to buy or stock up on formulas.
- Breastmilk is not just infinitely healthy but is also a cheap source of feeding for you as a parent
- Breastfeeding a baby reduces your risk of developing endometrial cancer later on.
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