Breastfeeding Benefits For Mom and Baby

December 23, 2013

Breastfeeding – whether you do it for one day or one year (or more) – provides wonderful physical and emotional benefits for both you and your baby. No matter what factors influence your decisions along your unique parenting journey, here are some breastfeeding benefits to consider.

Benefits of Breastfeeding + Breast Milk for Baby:

  • Right after delivery, your colostrum delivers a high concentration of antibodies and 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 and “good bacteria” in the baby’s digestive tract, reducing the risk of diarrheal diseases and helping baby establish a healthy immune system.
  • Breastfeeding supports brain development, improving IQ scores later in life. Also, children who were breastfed showed better understanding of language at age 3 and better verbal and nonverbal intelligence at 7.
  • 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, and certain types of spinal meningitis.
  • Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS.
  • Breastfeeding facilitates a special bond between mom and baby and promotes lower stress levels.
  • The sucking motion of feeding at the breast strengthens oral muscles, facial bones, and supports optimal dental development.
  • Breastfeeding increases the effectiveness of immunizations such as polio, tetanus, and diphtheria vaccines.
  • Premature babies who are fed breast milk throughout their NICU stay are discharged on average one to two weeks sooner than those who received little or no breast milk.
  • Breastfed infants are more protected against chronic conditions like celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and some childhood cancers.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom:

Do any of these benefits influence your decision to breastfeed? Which benefit is most important to you?

7 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Benefits For Mom and Baby

  1. Hi

    I’ve recently heard from a few Mom’s that their Medela pumps were covered by certain medical aids.

    Is there a nappi and ICD code and can you please provide it?

  2. Pingback: Preparing to Breastfeed When Pregnant | Pregnancy Awareness

  3. This really helped me out reading about the benifits on me nd my baby, i remenbered when i tride to pump just a litle bit came out and that was the colostrum and i didnt know it was to help the baby get the nutrients and helping to get a stronger and better immune system, im glad that i breastfeed

    • Hi Cynthia,

      Thanks for sharing your experience! Learning about the benefits can be so motivating for moms. Great job breastfeeding for your little one – you should feel so proud of the gift you have given.

      Have a lovely day,

  4. Pingback: Preparing to Breastfeed While Pregnant - Aeroflow Breast Pumps

  5. Pingback: Milk Sharing: How To Safely Donate And Receive Breast Milk | Medela Moments

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