The benefits of breastfeeding
World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, pediatricians’ associations and lactation consultants around the world agree – breastfeeding is the best option for you and your baby. Breast-feeding is the recommended way to feed a newborn. WHO recommend exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months after birth and weaning only after the baby turns one year old. Depending on the circumstances, various factors might lead you to consider formula-feeding earlier or later.
Breastfeeding is beneficial for you and your baby. Here are 19 advantages of breast feeding over bottle feeding:
- Breast milk presents a perfect mix of nutrients, with sufficient amounts of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, providing your baby with everything they need to be healthy and happy.
- It also contains antibodies – type of protein which fights the infections in our body. Mother’s antibodies are being transferred to the baby through nursing, therefore protecting the baby from bacteria and viruses.
- By boosting the immune system, nursing may reduce the risk of asthma and allergies.
- Your baby may be less likely to develop a fever after getting their vaccinations.
- Breast-fed babies may also be hospitalized less than their formula-fed peers.
- Breastfeeding means your baby is less likely to suffer from diabetes, high cholesterol and inflammatory bowel disease later in life.
- Breast milk is easier to digest than formula.
- Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of your child becoming an overweight teen or suffering from obesity as an adult.
- Breastfeeding may lower your baby’s risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Breastfeeding may reduce your stress levels, make you more relaxed and regulate your blood pressure, due to higher levels of the hormone oxytocin.
- Mothers who breastfeed are less likely to suffer from postpartum depression.
- Prolonged breastfeeding helps protect you from breast and ovarian cancer.
- It may also protect you from osteoporosis, by increasing your calcium absorption and therefore providing you with stronger bones.
- Nursing stimulates the secretion of hormone oxytocin. This hormone makes you feel good and causes the uterus to contract and shrink to its pre-pregnancy size.
- Breastfeeding burns around 500 calories a day, helping you lose your post-baby weight faster.
- Not to mention that it saves both time and money – no need to buy formula, spend time preparing it, sterilizing the bottles, etc.
- Fussy baby? No problem – you have everything you need with you at all times.
- Breastfeeding is earth-friendly – no formula packaging in the bin, no bottles that need washing.
- Nursing is the perfect opportunity for cuddles and uninterrupted bonding time.