Benefits of breatfeeding
The benefits and advantages of breastfeeding are many and they add up over time. Below we discuss those advantages, so of which are not as well known among parents.
Called “nature’s vaccine for the newborn,” colostrum has a high concentration of antibodies, some of which babies cannot get any other way. Although baby formulas are continuously being modified to be “most like mother’s milk,” they will always fall short, because human milk is a living fluid and it is these living properties that enhance the functioning of a baby’s immune system.
The mother will also helpsa mother’s body recover more quickly from childbirth by releasing hormones that contract the uterus and prevent excess bleeding.
After colostrum milk
As a mother’s milk changes from colostrum to a thinner, more mature and plentiful milk, it continues to contain protective antibodies.
Breastfed babies are rarely sick or hospitalized and studies have found that pneumonia and meningitis, for example, are at least four times less common among North American breastfeeding babies under six-months than among their formula-feeding counterparts.
Advantages of breastfeeding 4-6 months
A recent study found that babies exclusively breastfed for at least four months develop half the ear infections of babies on formula. Time isn’t diverted to the preparation of formula, and you can leave home without bringing bottles. Human milk does not stain, is not constipating, and a breastfed baby’s bowel movements have less odor, making diaper changes more pleasant and baby sweeter smelling.
Breastfeeding past 6 months
Breastfeeding for at least six months also provides other long-term health benefits. Research has found that immunizations are more effective in breastfeeding babies and that nursing at least six months reduces the risk of childhood cancers.
Breastfeeding provides reliable protection against pregnancy during the first six months when there is no menstrual bleeding, even among women who give occasional supplements.
9 months +
This year of nursing has given your child a stronger immune system and many health benefits that will last a lifetime. Studies have shown that breastfeeding offers protection from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in adulthood, as well as Hodgkin’s disease and certain chronic liver diseases. Individuals who were breastfed were also less likely to develop insulin-dependent diabetes. Breastfeeding also encourages proper facial development and makes it less likely that speech therapy and orthodontia will be needed later on.
There are many obvious advantages to breastfeeding for both the mother and the baby.
Breastfeeding – Information for nursing mothers