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  • 10 Ways You And Your Baby Can Benefit From Breastfeeding

    Breast milk is chock-full of nutrients your baby need to grow healthily.
    by Kate Borbon .
10 Ways You And Your Baby Can Benefit From Breastfeeding
PHOTO BY iStock
  • One of the most crucial decisions you need to make as you anticipate the arrival of your new baby is how you will feed him. While it may not be an option for some moms, breastfeeding can help give your child a healthy start in life. Below, learn about the benefits of breastfeeding both both you and your newborn.

    Benefits of breastfeeding for babies

    It protects him from diseases

    Breast milk contains all the nutrients your baby needs for healthy growth, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Because of this, breastfeeding can protect him from diarrhea, respiratory tract infectionurinary tract infection (UTI), sepsis (in preterm babies), childhood obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetesear infections, and meningitis.

    It helps prevent allergies

    According to the AAP, research has proven that breastfeeding can protect babies born into families with a history of allergies. The theory is that the immune components in breast milk protect against allergies. Parents also writes that the proteins in breast milk are easier for babies to digest compared to those in milk formulas, which can stimulate allergic reactions.

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    It lessens the risk of SIDS

    USA Today reports that according to a study published in Pediatrics, breastfeeding for two to four months can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by 40%, breastfeeding for four to six months can lessen SIDS risk by 60%, and breastfeeding for longer than that can reduce the possibility of SIDS by 64%.

    It can make your baby smarter

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    According to Medela, there have been studies claiming that breastfeeding aids in a child’s brain development. For instance, one U.S. study found that toddlers and preschoolers who were exclusively breastfed for at least three months had brains with 20 to 30% more white matter, which connects regions of the brain and transmits signals between them.

    It brings you closer together

    Perhaps the most important of the benefits of breastfeeding is the bond that it fosters between the mother and her child through skin-to-skin contact. The AAP says that breastfeeding triggers the release of the hormones prolactin, which helps you relax and focus on your baby, and oxytocin, which promotes love and attachment. Breastfeeding is also the one thing only the mom can do for her baby, making it an even more powerful connection!

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    Benefits of breastfeeding for moms

    It lowers your risk of some illnesses

    The AAP writes that breastfeeding moms have a lesser risk of having breast or ovarian cancer later in life. They are also less likely to develop conditions such as type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

    It speeds up pregnancy weight loss

    Through breastfeeding, your body produces the hormone oxytocin, which also functions by returning the uterus to its regular size and reduce postpartum bleeding, helping you recover from childbirth more quickly. Producing milk also burns a lot of calories, so it’s easier for you to lose your pregnancy pounds.

    It’s a natural form of contraception

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    Parents says breastfeeding can help delay ovulation as long as the following guidelines are followed:

    • Your period hasn’t resumed yet
    • You breastfeed at least every four months around the clock
    • You don’t give your baby pacifiers, bottles, or formula
    • You are less than six months postpartum
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    It saves money

    Breastfeeding is free, so you won’t have to spend money on formula milk. Even if you purchase items to help you in your breastfeeding, like a pump or baby bottles, you will likely spend much less than if you also need to buy formula milk.

    It gives fulfillment

    Giving birth can be an emotional and exhausting experience for you, but the special bond you get as one of the benefits of breastfeeding your child can help give you a boost of joy and fulfillment. Ruth A. Lawrence, M.D., an OB-Gyn, professor of pediatrics, and author of a breastfeeding book, tells Parents, “It’s empowering as a new mother to see your baby grow and thrive on your breast milk alone.”

    How often do you need to breastfeed your child? Click here to learn more.

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