Breastfeeding is a natural process that is recommended by everyone. Research has proven benefits of breastfeeding for both mums and babies, many people still choose not to breastfeed, and you may want to consider breastfeeding due to its many benefits for moms and babies. Here, we list the benefits for you.
Breastfeeding Benefits for Moms & Babies
Medical experts recommend breastfeeding exclusively (no baby formula, juice, or water) for six months, followed by breastfeeding at least for a year with other foods, which should be added to the baby’s diet at six months of age, such as vegetables, grains, fruits, and proteins.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding for your baby?
Some benefits of breastfeeding includes:
- Reduces risks of chronic diseases – Breastfeeding your baby reduces the risk of developing chronic conditions, such as type I diabetes and celiac disease.
- Provides ideal nutrition for babies – The breasts produce a thick and yellowish fluid called colostrum during the first days after birth, and this fluid is high in protein, fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and immunoglobulins. Colostrum is ideal for the baby’s immature digestive tract to develop. Breast milk provides the perfect nutrition for babies because it contains everything the baby needs for the first six months of the baby’s life in the right proportions. The composition of breast milk changes according to the baby’s changing needs.
- Stronger bones – According to research, women who breastfeed have a lower risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis — breastfeeding places significant stress on calcium metabolism and, as a consequence directly influence bone metabolism.
- Better healing post delivery – Your body produces high amounts of oxytocin during labour to help deliver the baby and reduce bleeding, and oxytocin also increases during breastfeeding. It encourages uterine contractions, helping the uterus and your belly to return to its previous size.
- Lowers Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) risk – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death or crib death, is the sudden unexplained death of a child less than one year of age. The deaths remain unexplained even after a thorough autopsy. SIDS usually occurs during sleep. Research says breastfeeding can lower the risk of SIDS by about half.
- Reduces the risk of cancer – Breastfeeding can decrease your baby’s risk of some childhood cancers. Research also shows mothers who breastfeed lower their risk of pre and post-menopausal breast cancer. Breastfeeding also can help reduce your ovarian cancer risk.
- Increased antibodies – Immunoglobulins in breast milk produce an antibody specific to the germs and bacteria you and your baby come in contact with; research also shows that breastfed babies have a better antibody response to vaccines than formula-fed babies. It is excellent if you are unable to breastfeed and feeding your baby with formula, whether because of your choice not to breastfeed or because of your condition. Infant formula will still provide your baby with all the nutrients your baby needs.
If you have any more questions about breastfeeding you can ask our Okadoctors here or you can book an appointment in just a tap from your smartphone with the Okadoc app here.
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