The Advantages of Breastfeeding

Almost every new mom looks forward to being able to breastfeed her newborn. Many Mom's will tell you there is a special bonding between them and their nursing baby. In addition to this special bond there are many other benefits to breastfeeding for both mom and baby.

 

 

What are the Benefits for Baby?

 

  • Due to the healthy properties of breastmilk, breastfed babies tend to have less incidence of or less pronounced symptoms of ear infections, respiratory illness, allergies, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • Due to the digestibility of breastmilk, breastfed babies are rarely constipated. 
  • The stools of breastfed babies are mild-smelling. 
  • SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), leukemia and other childhood cancers are less common in breastfed babies. Even juvenile diabetes and crohn's disease pose less of a threat for breastfed babies. 
  • Breastmilk is constantly changing in its composition to meet the changing needs of the baby. It has the exact combination of protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and sugars needed for the human infant at various stages of his growth. 
  • Often breastfed babies do not spit up as much. 
  • Breastfed babies have less incidence of recurrent diaper rashes or other skin breakouts including drying of the skin. 
  • There has been evidence to show that breastfed babies have fewer learning disabilities and behavior problems. 
  • IQ levels on average are 8 points higher in children who were breastfed. 
  • Breastfed babies don't get common illnesses such as infections, colds and viruses as severely or as often. 
  • Breastfed babies are constantly exposed to a variety of tastes through their mother's milk. 
  • Children who were breastfed are less likely to need orthodontic work such as braces due to the unique sucking action required with breastfeeding. They also seem to have better overall dental health than formula-fed children. 
  • Children who were breastfed need speech therapy less often than those who were bottle-fed. 
  • Adult daughters who were breastfed are at less risk for breast cancer. 
  • Adults who were breatfed have a lower risk for high cholesterol and asthma. 
  • The bond between mother and child is enhanced with breastfeeding. 

 

What are the Benefits for Mom? 

  • Nursing immediately following delivery causes the uterus to contract lessening the risk of postpartum hemorrhage. 
  • The uterus of a breastfeeding Mom shrinks to it's pre-pregnancy size more quickly. 
  • Calories are burned while breastfeeding. It takes approximately 20 calories to produce an ounce of milk. 
  • Breastfeeding Mom's tend to lose weight easier. 
  • Women who nurse their babies for at least 6 months lessen their chances of pre-menopausal breast cancer. Studies have found a significant inverse association between duraction of lactation and breast cancer risk. 
  • Osteoporosis and cervical cancer are less common in women who breastfed. 
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, uterine cancer & rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The return of fertility is delayed with breastfeeding. 
  • The preparation time involved with bottle-feeding is more time consuming that breastfeeding. 
  • Breastfeeding is more economical than formula feeding. The cost of formula for 12 months is approximately $1000 - $1200. 
  • Breastmilk is always available, clean and the right temperature. 
  • Many mothers feel a special satisfaction in knowing that they alone are meeting the nutritional needs of their babies. 
  • The hormones that are produced while a mother is breastfeeding also bring about a calm and peaceful state of mind making it easier for her to relax and even rest or sleep. 

 

    

 

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