11 Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Both Mom And Baby
Breast milk provides optimal nutrition for babies. It has the right amount of nutrients, is easily digested and readily available.
However, the rate of breastfeeding is as low as 30% in some groups of women.
While some women are unable to breastfeed, others simply choose not to.
Yet studies show breastfeeding has major health benefits, for both the mother and her baby.
Here are 11 science-based benefits of breastfeeding.
Benefits 1–5 are for babies, but 6–11 are for mothers.
1. Breast Milk Provides Ideal Nutrition for Babies
Breast milk contains everything your baby needs for the first six months of life, with the possible exception of vitamin D. The first milk is thick, rich in protein and loaded with beneficial compounds.
2. Breast milk is loaded with antibodies, especially immunoglobin A, which can help prevent or fight illness in your baby.
3. Breastfeeding may reduce your baby's risk of infections and many diseases, including allergy, celiac disease and diabetes.
4. Breastfeeding promote healthy weight gain in babies. Breastfed babies have lower obesity rates than formula-fed babies. They also have more leptin and more beneficial gut bacteria.
5. Breastfeeding may affect your baby's brain development and reduce the risk of future behavior and learning problems. This difference may be due to the physical intimacy, touch and eye contact associated with breastfeeding.
6. Breastfeeding may help you lose weight.
Breastfeeding may make weight loss harder for the first 3 months after delivery. However, it may actually help with weight loss after the first 3 months.
7. Breastfeeding helps the womb contract after delivery.
Breastfeeding increases oxytocin production, a hormone that causes contractions in the uterus. It reduces blood loss after delivery and helps the uterus return to its previous smaller size.
8. Mothers who breastfeed have lower risk of Depression.
Breastfeeding mothers are less likely to develop postpartum depression. They have increased amounts of oxytocin in their system, which encourages caregiving, relaxation and bonding between mother and child.
9. Breastfeeding reduces your disease risk.
Breastfeeding for more than one year is linked to a 28% lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It has also been linked to a reduced risk of several other diseases.
10. Breastfeeding provides a form of contraception.
Regular breastfeeding pauses ovulation and menstruation. Some have used this as birth control, but it may not be completely effective.
11. It Also Saves Time and Money
To top the list, breastfeeding is completely free and requires very little effort.
By choosing to breastfeed, you won't have to:
- Spend money on formula.
- Calculate how much your baby needs to drink daily.
- Spend time cleaning and sterilizing bottles.
- Mix and warm up bottles in the middle of the night (or day).
- Figure out ways to warm up bottles while on the go.
Breast milk is always at the right temperature and ready to drink.
With these few points above, I believe you are geared up to consider exclusively breastfeeding your baby(ies).
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