There’s no doubt that breastfeeding can be a challenge, but understanding the benefits of breastfeeding can help motivate moms to provide the best nutrition for baby. So, read our list of health benefits and share it with your fellow moms and moms-to-be. We all can spread awareness about the incredible nutritional advantages of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding Benefits for Baby:
- Right after delivery, your colostrum helps gently clear your baby’s intestine, decreasing the chance of jaundice.
- Breast milk contains antibodies, enzymes and white blood cells that protect your baby from viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections and illnesses during breastfeeding. These benefits may even continue after your baby is weaned.
- Breast milk encourages the growth of probiotics in the baby’s digestive tract, reducing the risk of diarrheal diseases.
- Breastfeeding supports brain development, improving IQ scores later in life.
- The immune components in breast milk provide protection against milk allergy, eczema, and wheezing early in life.
- Breastfeeding may prevent obesity and encourage a healthy lifestyle as your child grows older.
- Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from ear infections, vomiting, diarrhea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, or certain types of spinal meningitis.
- Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS.
- Breastfeeding facilitates a special bond between mom and baby.
- The sucking motion of breastfeeding strengthens oral muscles, facial bones, and supports ideal dental development.
- Breastfeeding increases the effectiveness of immunizations such as polio, tetanus, and diphtheria vaccines.
- Breastfed infants are more protected against chronic conditions like celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and some childhood cancers.
Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom:
- Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancers in mothers.
- Oxytocin levels increase while breastfeeding, stimulating postpartum uterine contractions and minimizing blood loss.
- Many breastfeeding moms report an increase in weight loss during the first 3 to 12 months postpartum.
- Breastfeeding moms can experience psychological benefits such as increased self-confidence and a stronger bond with their little one.
- Exclusive breastfeeding can delay the return of fertility, working as a natural contraceptive.
- Breastfeeding releases hormones that promote bonding and maternal instincts. The release of oxytocin while breastfeeding encourages a more relaxed demeanor and may prevent the onset of postpartum depression.
What do you think is the most important benefit of breastfeeding? Share in the comments below.