Every baby and mom are unique and the decision to breastfeed your baby is all a personal matter. But, the medical research from all across the world, including ones from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
, strongly recommends to exclusively breastfeed newborns for at least 6 months.
Read here in detail about some of the remarkable benefits of breastfeeding for both the baby and the mom, and then decide if you prefer feeding your baby on breast milk or any supplement/ formula food.
Health Benefits of Breastfeeding for Your Baby
Breastfeeding is the most natural way of nourishing your newborn and is the safest baby food. Here are some of the tremendous health reasons why new moms must consider breastfeeding their babies.
- Provides the right amount of nutrients - vitamins, protein and fat - everything that your baby needs for complete development.
- Gets easily digested compared to any supplement or formula foods and, thus babies have minimal constipation or any other gastrointestinal issues.
- Contains a high amount of antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria, thus reducing the risk of developing allergies, bacterial infections, ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea.
- Helps babies gain the right amount of weight and protects them from getting obese later in life.
- Holds immunity-enhancing proteins and antibodies such as immunoglobulin A, lactoferrin, and lysozyme, which - if given within the first hour of life to babies - lowers the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Also, children who are breastfed have fewer cases of hospitalizations in future.
- Aids in better physical and mental development. Packed with higher percentage of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and arachidonic acid (ARA), breast milk helps:
- Improve problem-solving abilities
- Improve memory
- Improve vision
- Better scores in intelligence tests
- Higher verbal intelligence
- Greater language skills
- Better cognitive performance as adults
- Better educational performance
- Helps babies perform better socially and emotionally. Breast milk contains oxytocin hormone, which enhances positive tendencies in babies as they grow, while reducing withdrawal and anxiety issues. Thus, breastfed infants have better socio-emotional functioning and reduced aggressive, antisocial, and avoidance behavior. Oxytocin also promotes mother-baby attachment. Breastfeeding mothers respond more quickly to an infant’s cries.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Moms
The benefits that a breastfeeding mother avails, as compared to the formula feeding mothers include:
- Rapid maternal weight loss after birth
- Delayed return of menstrual periods
- Lower anxiety, negative mood, and stress
- Longer and better sleep
- Lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer
- Lower risk of osteoporosis
- Help prevent type 2 diabetes by bringing about changes in metabolism
- Prevent cardiovascular disorders, especially in obese women
Now still if you are not sure of the superiority of breastfeeding, then consider this statement inscribed at every packaging of formula food, “Mother's milk is best for your baby!”