Breastfeeding

Share:

Most medical authorities, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, strongly encourage breastfeeding. There are many benefits of breastfeeding for both the infant and the mother. However, you and your baby are unique, and the decision to breastfeed or not is completely up to you.

What Are The Benefits of Breastfeeding For Your Baby?

Breast milk is the perfect mix of nutrients, (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and vitamins) for your baby. It has everything that your infant needs to grow and thrive, and is more easily digested than formula. Breast milk also contains antibodies from the mother which help protect your baby from infections during the first few months. Research has shown that babies who are exclusively breastfed during the first six months have fewer ear infections, and a lower risk for developing asthma or allergies.

The AAP says breastfeeding may play a role in the prevention of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Several studies have also linked breastfeeding to higher IQ scores later in childhood.

What Are The Benefits Of Breastfeeding For The Mother?

Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and helps reduce uterine bleeding after birth. Breastfeeding also burns extra calories and helps you lose pregnancy weight quicker. Studies have shown that breastfeeding lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and may lower your risk of osteoporosis.

Breastfeeding is also very convenient. Since you don’t have to worry with measuring formula and sterilizing bottles, it also saves you time and money. More important, breastfeeding provides the physical closeness, eye contact, and skin-to-skin touching that helps with bonding. It also gives you time to regularly relax quietly with your baby, leading to a sense of well-being for both you and your baby.