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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.