Breastfeeding has always been a great debate in the society. Medical authorities and institutions have given their recommendations regarding this matter. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly believe that breastfeeding is highly beneficial to both the mother and the baby. Despite these recommendations, it is still up to the mother and the family to make the decision.
Benefits of Breastfeeding to the Baby
Ensures a healthier body
Babies tend to have stronger and healthier body because of breastfeeding. The risk and incidence for respiratory illness such as pneumonia, cough, and colds are reduced. Also, gastrointestinal problems including diarrhea, constipation, and gastroenteritis become less common among breastfed babies.
Gives long-term protection
Breastfeeding the babies give long term protection against chronic diseases. The risk of developing these conditions decreases. Babies tend to reduce the chances of having diabetes, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease.
Lowers the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Breastfeeding lowers the risk for sudden infant death syndrome in babies. This condition takes the newborn’s life during sleeping without any warning or signs. This might be due to the lack of serotonin in the brain. Studies show that breastfeeding could reduce the risk for developing SIDS to half.
Reduces the risk of cancer
Breastfeeding can help reduce the risk of developing some childhood cancers. This will also lead to stronger immunity of the baby towards several illnesses and diseases. Better antibody response is observed with breastfed babies.
Protects from Obesity
When talking about the benefits of breastfeeding, this one may be out of your expectation. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of becoming obese or overweight. The baby tends to feel better and satisfied with mother’s milk, leading to healthier eating habits and patterns. The breast milk also contains less insulin which acts as hinders to the creation of fats. Also, babies who are breastfed have more leptin in their system which helps regulate the appetite and fats in the body.
Boosts the intelligence and mental ability
Breastfeeding has a major effect on the cognitive development of the baby. The mental ability of the baby is enhanced, leading to higher intelligence. This may be accounted to the emotional bonding between mothers and babies, which enhances the brainpower ability of the person. Also, the fatty acids present in breast milk play a big role in the mental development of the baby.
Protects against allergies
The breast milk helps prevent allergic reactions to different foods. This is due to the layer of protection developed in the intestinal tract of the baby. The layer makes them less vulnerable to allergies, inflammations, and other health issues that might arise during the baby’s growth.
Supplies the baby’s ever changing needs
Breastfeeding produces components that meet the needs of the baby. These components include abundant and necessary nutrients needed by the body to grow strong and healthy. Colostrums provide the antibodies for better protection against diseases. It is also rich in protein for healthier and stronger body. The lower sugar content of breast milk is a healthy choice to keep the baby always full and satisfied. Mother’s milk is also easily digested and absorbed by the baby’s body, leading to faster growth and development.
Benefits of Breastfeeding to the Mother
Makes bones stronger
Breastfeeding mothers have a lower risk of having postmenopausal osteoporosis. The women’s body efficiently absorbs more calcium during pregnancy and lactation. This also helps the bones, especially those in the spines and hips, become denser after pregnancy.
Promotes faster weight loss
Weight problems including obesity lessen because of breastfeeding. Feeding a baby may burn up to 500 calories per day. A study reveals that feeding a baby 20 ounce per day will be swept away around 400 calories out of the body. Faster weight loss rate is achieved because of breastfeeding.
Better post delivery healing
Breastfeeding helps release oxytocin in the body. This helps stimulate the contraction of the uterus, leading to its faster recovery and return to normal size. The release of oxytocin also reduces the postpartum bleeding or post-delivery blood loss experienced by women. Breastfeeding mothers also have a lower risk of developing postpartum depression due to the production of prolactin. This aids in the peaceful sensation that allows mothers to relax and focus on the baby.
Reduces the risk of cancer
Breastfeeding lowers the risk of some cancers in women which include ovarian and breast cancer. Studies show that mothers who breastfed for a year experienced the most protective effect against breast cancer. This may be due to the structural changes that occur in the breast tissues during breastfeeding. Also, the suppression of estrogen levels in the body is experienced. This suppression in the production of estrogen reduces the risk of ovarian cancer.
Breastfeeding provides a unique and fulfilling experience. It creates a strong physical and emotional connection between the mother and the baby. This strong bond is a helpful tool in the baby’s growth and development.
Offers practical bonuses
Breastfeeding offers practical advantages that the family will surely love and appreciate.
Cheaper than any infant formula in the market. This will primarily consume calories (around 500) and not even a cost of money.
Putting the baby to sleep, especially at night, is a lot easier and faster. No need to get up, prepare, and warm a bottle of infant formula.
Easier traveling without any huge bags which usually contain feeding equipment. Proper clothing is the only requirement to move easily and freely.
Environment-friendly that wastes no resources at all. This also reduces the garbage, formula cans and pouches, present in the surroundings.