The Benefits of Breastfeeding

One of the most important things a mother wants for her child is for them to be protected. This starts from the second they take their first breath. It’s a natural instinct that never goes away.

As they get older, it will be harder and harder to protect them. This is why it’s important to take every step possible to protect them while they’re young.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by breastfeeding. It provides numerous benefits and is scientifically supported.

If you want to learn more, check out our list of the benefits of breastfeeding below.

Defends Against Illness

When your child gets sick, it can make you feel helpless and desperate. It is one of the scariest things a mother can go through. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding your infant for, at least, the first 6 months of their lives1.

What does this mean?

It means only feeding your child breast milk. No solid foods, formula or water for at least 6 months. While this may seem extreme, it has countless benefits for your baby’s defense against illnesses.

1. Lower risk of SIDS

Breastfeeding has been found to lower your baby’s risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)2. SIDS is a terrifying thing for new mothers to think about. It is the sudden, unexplained death of a child less than 1 year of age3.

Breastfeeding can help reduce the risk of SIDS by about half2, which is a huge decrease in odds for worried mothers.

2. Lowers risk and severity of countless illnesses

In addition to lowering the risk of SIDS, breastfeeding helps combat a number of illnesses in your baby’s early years. When you breastfeed, you decrease the chance of your baby developing the following illnesses1, 4:

  • Stomach viruses
  • Lower respiratory illnesses
  • Ear infections
  • Meningitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

If you breastfeed and any of these do occur, they are often way less severe than those children who are fed with formula1. In addition, baby’s who are breastfeed generally have fewer hospitalizations and have to take fewer trips to see their doctor. It’s a win-win situation.

3. Long term protection

In addition to immediate benefits to your baby’s immune system, breastfeeding contributes to many long-term benefits that extend into adulthood5.

For instance, the probiotics found in breast milk help to fight inflammation, which is a common source of chronic illnesses5. It also helps fight against the development of allergies, asthma and even obesity.

Another huge long-term protective factor is the fact that breastfeeding can actually help decrease your child’s chances of developing certain cancers. Most of these are childhood cancers, like leukemia4, since cancers developed in adult years are more from lifestyle choices and genetics.

4. Increases strength of immune system

One major aspect of breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months of your baby’s life is the fact that his or her immune system will skyrocket. This is due to the substance called immunoglobulin A (IgA), which is heavily present in the first milk your body produces for your baby1.

Immunoglobulin A helps to guard against invading germs for your little one by forming a protective layer on their mucous membranes in the intestines, nose and throat1.

It is a natural way to add an extra level of “vaccination” protection. Perfect for mother’s who want to ensure the best possible health of their baby with the least amount of chemicals.

Health Benefits for Mom

While all the health benefits for your baby should be reason enough to breastfeed, there are also numerous benefits for you! One of the most impressive benefits is the lowered risk of certain types of cancers and diseases for women who breastfeed.

There have been many studies that have shown that the longer that women breastfeeds, the less likely they are to develop breast cancer and ovarian cancer1. It seems to have something to do with that changes that occur in your breast tissue when you breastfeed, along with your hormonal changes.

Another great benefit for moms is the fact that breastfeeding burns extra calories, which means you can shed that pregnancy weight faster6! In fact, according to numerous sources, breastfeeding can help you burn up to 500 calories each day!

We’re not saying skip the exercise, but it is always nice to have a little extra metabolism boost.

Breastfeeding promotes faster healing post delivery. When you breastfeed, your body produces oxytocin, which helps your uterus contract and return to its normal size2. A faster recovery means the faster you can get back to your daily routine.

Stronger Bonding

Everyone has heard moms talk about how much the bond with your baby increases during breastfeeding, and it’s true! The physical closeness, skin-to-skin contact and eye contact contribute to a stronger bond and a higher feeling of closeness6.

This bonding also helps moms fight the risk of postpartum depression. The National Institutes of Health conducted a study and found that women who didn’t breastfeed, or stopped early, had a higher risk of postpartum depression7. You can read more about the link between breastfeeding and postpartum depression here.

Intelligence Boost

Set your baby up for success through breastfeeding. Your breast milk contains long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which basically means great things for your baby’s brain development5. Better brain development helps lead to higher IQs later in life.

In fact, various studies have been done and it has been shown that breastfeeding significantly improves cognitive development and leads to higher IQ scores1.

Inexpensive and Great for the Environment

At the end of the day, we can’t lie… breastfeeding is practical. It is free and will save you tons of money on formula. When you and your partner first have your baby, there will be tons of extra costs. Save a little bit of money and breastfeed.

The longer you do, the less you’ll need to spend on formula and baby food. It will also save you money on bottles and time on preparation. You need to prepare formula and your breast milk is always ready to go.

Breastfeeding just makes your life easier. You won’t need to run to the store whenever you’re running low on formula and you can stock up on supply by pumping.

Conclusion

We know you want the best for your newborn baby now and for years to come. That’s why we put together this list of the benefits of breastfeeding! If you weren’t convinced before, we hope you are now. Make sure you discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor. Remember, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, expectant mothers are eligible to receive an electric breast pump covered by their insurance provider! It’s easier than every with Byram Healthcare! Just head over to our page and browse our selection.

As always, if you have any other tips on how breastfeeding has benefited your and your family, share them with us on our Facebook page! We always love hearing what our readers have to say!

SOURCES:
1https://www.babycenter.com/0_how-breastfeeding-benefits-you-and-your-baby_8910.bc
2https://www.fitpregnancy.com/baby/breastfeeding/20-breastfeeding-benefits-mom-baby
3http://sids.org
4http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/benefits-breastfeeding.aspx
5https://www.babycentre.co.uk/x536357/what-are-the-benefits-of-breastfeeding
6http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/nursing-basics#1-2
7https://www.babycenter.com/0_how-breastfeeding-benefits-you-and-your-baby_8910.bc?page=3#articlesection6

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