It is a well-known fact that breast milk is nature’s perfect, most nourishing form of food for babies. Just like cow’s milk is an ideal form of nourishment for its calves, your breastmilk is wonderfully tailored to meet all the nutritional needs of your little one.
Not only does breast milk boost your baby’s growth and development, but breastfeeding also offers numerous health benefits for you as well.
Here are the many advantages of breastfeeding for you and your little bundle of joy:
For the baby:
- Best form of nourishment:
Breast milk is tailored to suit your newborn’s digestive system. The protein and fat that your breast milk contains are easier for your baby to digest compared to any baby formula. It contains micronutrients that are much easier for your baby to absorb. In the early days after birth, your breasts produce a thick fluid called colostrum. Colostrum is high in protein and low in sugar. This fluid is loaded with antibodies and beneficial compounds that no formula can replace.
- Protects your baby against infections:
Breast milk contains antibodies that are important for boosting your baby’s immunity. It helps your baby fight infections like colds, ear infections, UTIs, and several other common allergies caused by viruses and bacteria.
- Promotes a healthy weight for your baby:
Breast milk allows a healthy weight gain and helps prevent obesity. Studies have shown that breastfeeding for over four months resulted in significantly reduced chances of a baby developing obesity-related problems. Breast milk also keeps your baby feeling full for longer durations, promoting healthy eating patterns. We have collated a few tips to keep your baby at a healthy weight.
- Boosts brain development:
Studies have shown a great difference in the brain development and IQ of breastfed babies as compared to formula-fed babies. Breast milk contains key nutrients important for your baby’s brain development including arachidonic acids, cholesterol, and Omega 3 Fatty Acid DHA, along with hormones like oxytocin, thyroxin, and estrogen.
Breastfed babies also get a lot of physical contact and intimate time with their mothers, which along with making them feel nurtured and safe, also promotes intellectual development.
For the mother:
- Boosts postpartum recovery:
Nursing triggers the release of a hormone called Oxytocin in your body that encourages your uterus to shrink back to its size before conception. This process is called involution. Studies have shown that mommies who breastfeed experienced reduced blood loss post-delivery and faster involution of the uterus.
- Promotes post-pregnancy weight loss:
Breastfeeding helps you burn between 300 to 500 extra calories every day. This helps you lose your baby weight faster and also helps you maintain a healthy weight going down the road. Studies have shown that breastfeeding mommies reach their pre-pregnancy weight much faster with lower body fat than moms who feed their babies formula.
- Reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other diseases:
Breastfeeding provides you with long-term protection against cancer in your breasts and ovaries, as well as several other diseases. Moms who breastfeed have a lower risk of high blood pressure, arthritis, heart diseases, and type 2 diabetes.
- Brings you closer to your baby:
Breastfeeding is one of the best and most intimate ways to bond with your little munchkin. During a nursing session, you exchange looks, cuddles, coos, and unlimited love with your baby. This, for most moms, is the ultimate benefit of breastfeeding.
Many experts strongly recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months of your baby’s life. If any problems should arise, you must see your lactation consultant.