Kim@BirthingDays.com | 541-733-4002
The benefits of breastfeeding are well known, there are some great old and new ones I want to share with you.
Breast milk is a wonderful form of nourishment for babies, loaded with nutrients and protective antibodies that help babies grow, boost their delicate immune systems, and improve overall health. It seems like every day there is a new discovery that validates that breastfeeding is beneficial for both mom and baby.
Benefits for Baby
1. Ideal Nutrition
Everything that makes up breast milk gives your baby exactly what they need to grow and get stronger, from the fats and carbs to the antibodies and hormones.
Another great thing about breastfeeding you don’t have to worry about buying the right kind of formula or mixing it correctly. The components of breast milk change as your baby grows, from protein-rich colostrum to prebiotic-rich mature milk, your breast milk is always giving their body what it needs to thrive.
When you are breastfeeding your baby you are boding through skin-to-skin contact with your little one. During this time you are building trust and love. Studies suggest breastfed babies are less likely to internalize problems when older and are less likely to suffer from depression.
3. Immune Booster
When you are exposed to germs your body will develop antibodies to fight those gems off. Studies should that just one month of breastfeeding reduced the risk of ear infections by as much as four percent and six months of breastfeeding reduced the risk of ear infections by 17 percent. (Sounds like a no-brainer to me!)
4. Reduces the Risk of SIDS
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is a scary topic and a fear for a lot of new parents. Along with creating a safe sleep environment, breastfeeding also reduces the risk of SIDS.
Studies suggest breastfeeding your baby for just the first two months of their life can cut the risk of SIDS in half. Scientists aren’t 100% sure why this is, but they speculate that it could be due to the fact that breastfed babies don’t sleep as deeply as formula-fed babies.
5. Reduces Frequency of Ear Infections
Breastfed babies are more likely to have fewer ear infections than formula-fed babies. According to one study, just one month of breastfeeding reduced the risk of ear infections by as much as four percent, and six months of breastfeeding reduced the risk of ear infections by 17 percent.
6. Reduced the Frequency of Colds
Colostrum, the highly concentrated milk expressed at the beginning of a baby’s life, contains an extremely large amount of antibodies that help build a baby’s immune system from the very beginning, but studies suggest breastfeeding for up to six months will further decrease colds and other respiratory infections.
7. Decreases Allergies
According to research, one of the benefits of breastfeeding is that it reduces the risk of food allergies in babies. Many allergists now recommend that mothers should eat eggs, peanuts, gluten, dairy, and other highly allergenic foods while pregnancy and breastfeeding.
8. Lowers the Risk of Asthma
Studies say it can reduce a baby’s risk of developing asthma-related symptoms, including wheezing, shortness of breath, dry cough, and persistent phlegm, in early childhood. The same study found evidence that the first asthma-related symptoms occur earlier in life in children breastfed for shorter lengths of time or not exclusively.
9. Reduced Symptoms of Celiac Disease
According to studies, breastfeeding can’t prevent Celiac’s altogether, but breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months can delay the onset of celiac symptoms by an average of 15 months and significantly reduce the severity of symptoms.
10. Cuts the Risk of Obesity
Researchers believe this may be because breastfeed babies learn to recognize when they’re full and can better self-regulate their caloric intake.
11. Decreased Risk of Developing IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrom)
Studies suggest breastfeeding can help prevent your child from dealing with these uncomfortable and embarrassing issues. Breastfed babies are 26 percent less likely to develop a bowel disease, such as IBS, Crohn’s, and Ulcerative Colitis.
12. Better Vision
While you breastfeed and look down at your baby and your baby looks back at you is great for bonding, but it also helps develop their eyesight.
13. Lower Risks of Cancer
It has been proven through studies that one of the benefits of 10 months versus four to six months of breastfeeding, is that it reduces a child’s risk of developing cancer, particularly leukemia.
14. Dental Health
Breastfed babies are less likely to develop any kind of misalignment (open bite, crossbite, and overbite, for example) in their teeth later in life.
15. Increased IQ
There’s evidence that breastfed babies score higher on IQ tests in the beginning of life than non-breastfed babies. Elementary-aged children who were breastfed scored up to 7.5 points higher on IQ tests.