10 Ways You And Your Baby Can Benefit From Breastfeedingby Kate Borbon .
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 infection, urinary tract infection (UTI), sepsis (in preterm babies), childhood obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, ear 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.
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%.
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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.
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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
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.