The Benefits of Breastfeeding your Baby

The Benefits of Breastfeeding your Baby

Choosing to breastfeed your baby is an important decision that comes with its challenges. However, the benefits far outweigh struggles that might arise along the way.  Breastfeeding is the most nutritious and natural way to support your baby and help with optimal development.  It is recommended that babies are exclusively breast fed for at least 6 months, up to 12 months! Breastmilk contains ALL of the essential nutrients that your baby needs to grow and develop healthy. (*NOTE Most insurance companies will cover the cost of your breastpump)

 

Some of the benefits for babies include:

  • Infants that are breastfed are healthier and get sick less often, and for shorter duration
  • The risk of hypertension and obesity is reduced by breastfeeding
  • The effectiveness of immunizations is enhanced through breastfeeding
  • Sucking enhances the development of your baby’s facial bones, oral muscles and helps promote healthy teeth development
  • The nutrients in breastmilk help benefit your baby’s IQ
  • Helps support the immune system by protecting against chronic diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, childhood cancers and celiac disease
  • Helps mature your baby’s immune system by protecting again viral, parasitic and bacterial infections
  • Helps newborns transition from the womb to the outside world
  • Skin on skin contact during breastfeeding promotes bonding and emotional security
  • The first milk (colostrums) acts as a gentle laxative, helping baby clear their intestines and preventing jaundice. It also contains antibodies that boost babies
  • Decreases the risk of developing an allergic disease
  • Benefits continue even after mom is finished nursing
  • Breastmilk is easy to digest

Some of the benefits for moms include:

  • Improved health
  • Lowers risk of postpartum depression
  • Breastmilk is always the perfect temperature and ready when baby needs it
  • The increased levels of oxytocin helps stimulate uterine contractions after birth to minimize blood loss
  • Breastfeeding may offer some protection against early fertility
  • Helps with weight loss after delivery
  • Babies are healthier, moms are happier
  • Moms report improved self confidence and a stronger bond with baby
  • Your breastmilk changes as your babies needs change. The milk you produce at 3 days is different than the milk you will produce at 6 months.
  • Breastfeeding is free. Depending on formula costs, you may save up to $1500/year by breastfeeding alone!

Babies that are not breastfed have a higher risk of developing the following:

  • Childhood diabetes
  • Ear infections
  • GI infections
  • Diarrhea
  • SIDS
  • Obesity
  • Childhood cancers
  • Infections of the respiratory system
  • Allergies

Moms who do not breastfeed have a higher risk of developing the following:

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Breast cancer (pre and post-menopausal)
  • UTI

Remember that breastfeeding takes patience and dedication but is worth it in the end. There are a variety of support groups, lactation consultants and counselors that are available in most communities to help guide you and troubleshoot any issues that arise. Do not be afraid to ask for help or talk to other moms about their experience.

 


3 comments

  • Natalie Chew

    I’m very thankful for this post it truly is a special time when you’re able to breastfeed your baby.

  • Elizabeth

    Great information on breastfeeding! It’s such a great way to feed baby when it works for the mom. It can take a lot of effort in the beginning, but pays off greatly over the long run.

  • Emily Reichelt

    This is wonderful information! Thank you bibs and binkies for supporting breastfeeding! So true that it takes patience but stick with it and the benefits are great!!

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