Health Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is great for both mothers and babies. It helps babies brains and their eyes and it helps them fight off infections. It helps mothers to lose weight and protects them against breast cancer.

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding include helping your baby's brain development. By a pediatric doctor.

Breast milk is good for baby's brains

Breast milk contains certain fats (long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids called docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid, also known as omega 3 and 6) that are important for baby’s brain development. These fats are not available in all formulas although they are added to some.

Breast milk helps babies fight infections

In the short term, the baby gets immunoglobulins (antibodies) from the milk that help it fight infection. The great thing is that the mother produces the antibodies specifically to fight infections that she comes into contact with and then passes them onto her baby. As mother and baby will come into contact with the same bugs, this is especially useful.

A baby’s immune system is immature when it is first born and initially the baby is protected by antibodies that it gets from its mother before birth. After birth, these run out, leaving the baby susceptible to infection until its own immune system matures. The antibodies in breast milk help to bridge that gap.

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Other health benefits of breastfeeding babies

• Less childhood obesity

• Less diabetes

• Less allergy such as asthma and coeliac disease (particularly if it runs in your family)

• Less cows’ milk protein intolerance

• Lower risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infants (previously known as ‘cot death’ or ‘SIDS’)

• Higher intelligence

• Lower cholesterol later in life.

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding include helping your baby fight infection. By a pediatric doctor.

Health benefits of breastfeeding for Mothers

• Weight loss, it helps you lose that baby weight although you won’t lose all of it until you stop breastfeeding

• Lower risk of certain cancers (ovarian, breast and endometrial).

Breastfeeding helps mother and baby bond

Breastfeeding also helps with bonding and there is no doubt that babies and most mothers enjoy it and find it very comforting. Listening to those little gulps and sighs of pleasure as you stroke your baby’s downy head is definitely rewarding.

Practical benefits of breastfeeding

Other general benefits include cost, convenience and (one that isn’t mentioned so often) breastfed baby poo is much less offensive that bottle fed baby poo. (In fact, I quite like the smell of breastfed baby poo, it’s sort of sweet and milky!)

Breastfeeding is comforting when babies are unwell

Breastfeeding can also be very comforting to a baby when it is unwell, in a way that bottle feeding isn’t. When babies are unwell, even if they are on solids, they mostly want to suck and suck. They find it very comforting when they aren’t feeling great. It also has the added bonus of giving them some nutrients when they don’t want to eat anything else (even if they do vomit it back up.) As a mother, it helps you too as you know that you are doing something beneficial for your ill baby.

Benefits of breastfeeding for Baby

• Brain and eye development

• Helps fight infections

• Less asthma

• Less diabetes

• Less coeliac's disease

• Less risk of cholesterol later in life

• Lower risk of SIDS

• Less cow's milk protein intolerance

• Higher intelligence

Benefits of breastfeeding for Mother

• Weight loss

• Lower risk of some cancers

Wow! So many health benefits of breastfeeding. I know it can sometimes be difficult, but it’s so worth the effort.

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Breast milk is made of lots of nutrients

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding includes helping your baby's brain development. By a pediatric doctor.