For many moms, there are multiple factors that go into the decision to breastfeed. But most moms agree that one of the most important reasons they decided to breastfeed is because it has serious benefits for your baby. From protecting against diseases to encouraging bonding, there are endless ways breast milk helps keep your baby healthy and growing. These are just 11 amazing benefits of breastfeeding for your little one.
- Right after delivery, your colostrum delivers a high concentration of antibodies and its laxative effect gently clears your baby’s intestine, helping to decrease 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. Even better? These benefits may even continue after your baby is weaned.
- Breast milk encourages the growth of probiotics and “good bacteria” in your baby’s digestive tract, reducing the risk of diarrheal diseases and helping establish a healthy immune system.
- Breastfeeding supports brain development, and is shown to improve 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 some protection against milk allergies, eczema, and wheezing early in life.
- Breastfeeding may prevent obesity and lowers your little one’s risk of developing diabetes in adolescence and adulthood.
- Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from childhood illnesses like ear infections, vomiting, diarrhea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and certain types of meningitis.
- Breastfeeding creates a special bond between you and your baby and the hormones produced lower stress levels.
- The sucking action your baby uses when feeding at your breast strengthens oral muscles and facial bones, and supports good dental development.
- Premature babies who are fed breast milk throughout their NICU stay are discharged sooner than those who received little or no breast milk.
- Breastfed infants receive protection against chronic conditions like celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and even some childhood cancers.
What was the main benefit that influenced your decision to breastfeed? Share in the comments below.