Do you know that breastfeeding not only benefits baby but also mommy? Breastfeeding has a long list of benefits for baby & mommy. Sounds great right? Breast milk provides optimal nutrition for babies. It has the right amount of nutrients, is easily digested and readily available. However, the rate of breastfeeding is as low as 30% in some groups of women. While some women are unable to breastfeed, others simply choose not to. Yet studies show breastfeeding has major health benefits, for both the mother and baby.
Breast milk contains everything your baby needs for the first six months of life, with the possible exception of vitamin D. The first milk is thick, rich in protein and loaded with beneficial compounds. Mother’s breast milk is loaded with antibodies, especially immunoglobin A, which can help prevent or fight illness in your baby.
Breastfeeding has an impressive list of health benefits. This is particularly true of exclusive breastfeeding, meaning that the infant receives only breast milk.
It may reduce your baby’s risk of many illnesses and diseases, including:
- Middle ear infections
- Respiratory tract infections
- Colds and infections
- Gut infections
- Intestinal tissue damage
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Allergic diseases
- Celiac disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Childhood leukaemia
In addition to reducing the risk of many infections, breastfeeding has also been shown to significantly reduce their severity. Furthermore, the protective effects of breastfeeding seem to last throughout childhood and even adulthood.
Most new mommies don’t know this but most baby formula; if not chosen or researched wisely, is filled with sugar and can cause childhood obesity. Otherwise can be said for breastmilk; Breastfeeding promotes healthy weight gain and helps prevent childhood obesity. Studies show that obesity rates are 15–30% lower in breastfed babies, compared to formula-fed babies. The duration is also important, as each month of breastfeeding reduces your child’s risk of future obesity by 4%. This may be due to the development of different gut bacteria. Breastfed babies have higher amounts of beneficial gut bacteria, which may affect fat storage. Babies fed on breast milk also have more leptin in their systems than formula-fed babies. Leptin is a key hormone for regulating appetite and fat storage. Breastfed babies also self-regulate their milk intake. They’re better at eating only until they’ve satisfied their hunger, which helps them develop healthy eating patterns.
Breastfeeding not only benefits the baby, but also the mother. Breastfeeding increases oxytocin production, a hormone that causes contractions in the uterus. It reduces blood loss after delivery and helps the uterus return to its previous smaller size.
Breastfeeding mothers are less likely to develop postpartum depression. They have increased amounts of oxytocin in their system, which encourages care giving, relaxation and bonding between mother and child.
Breastfeeding seems to provide the mother with long-term protection against cancer and several diseases. The total time a woman spends breastfeeding is linked with a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer. In fact, women who breastfeed for more than 12 months during their lifetime have a 28% lower risk of both breast and ovarian cancer. Each year of breastfeeding is associated with a 4.3% decrease in breast cancer risk.
Best of all, to top the list, breastfeeding is completely free and requires very little effort.
By choosing to breastfeed, you won’t have to:
- Spend money on formula.
- Calculate how much your baby needs to drink daily.
- Spend time cleaning and sterilizing bottles.
- Mix and warm up bottles in the middle of the night (or day).
- Figure out ways to warm up bottles while on the go.
Breast milk is always at the right temperature and ready to drink.
In other cases where the mother has a low quantity of breastmilk, Shaklee has a solution set for you to increase your breastmilk quantity for your baby, and to aid and encourage speedy healing to your body.
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