Want to know if you should breastfeed your baby?
If you have a newborn baby, some people may advise you to use formula instead of breastfeeding. For some families, baby formula is crucial to a baby’s survival. However, breastfeeding can be more effective in your child’s growth.
The CDC says that in the US, 84.1% of infants get breastfed. For many, it’s a natural solution to caring for babies. In this guide, we’ll answer the question of why or what are the benefits of breast milk.
Breast Milk Is a Nutritional Source
Breast milk has everything your baby needs to survive his or her firsts. Be it the first day, first month, or six months, your baby can get all his nutritional needs from breast milk. If you’re curious, breast milk has:
- High protein
- Low sugar
- Antibodies and white blood cells
- Antibacterial properties
- Growth factors
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids
Those are only a few nutrients and other elements found in breast milk. The interesting part is that these elements come in all the right proportions for your baby. As time goes on, these nutrients also change and adapt to your baby’s needs.
If there is one thing that breast milk doesn’t have, it’s vitamin D only. This means you still have to expose your infant to healthy morning sunlight. If your newborn has jaundice, sunlight exposure is crucial to their health.
Your Baby Becomes Stronger and Healthier
Because your baby gets all the nutrients he needs from breast milk; it’s easier for him to grow well. He also stays within the healthy weight range of a newborn infant. He has protection against infections and diseases from the antibodies in breast milk.
These illnesses and diseases include:
- Middle ear infection
- Respiratory tract infection
- Colds and related infections
- Gut infections
- Allergic diseases
- Intestinal tissue damage
- Bowel diseases
Your breast milk gives your baby everything they need to keep these infections out of his/her system. Breastfeeding is one step to ensure your baby doesn’t become sickly. Not only that, when you breastfeed your baby, you’re ensuring he or she becomes strong and healthy.
You Feel a Stronger Connection With Your Baby
Breastmilk is the one thing that a mother can give that a father could not. This unique ability also helps you create a unique bond with your baby.
Nursing is a great way to build a physical and emotional connection with your child. You get to hold, caress, and kiss your child as you breastfeed him or her. You’ll get this feeling of the miracle that is your infant as you stare at him while he breastfeeds.
That isn’t to say that mothers who bottle-feed their babies won’t feel the same way. They’ll still feel these emotions. However, it’s quite different when you’re feeding your infant straight from your breast.
Avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome is an unexplainable death during sleep. Any baby that is less than a year old, healthy or not, is prone to SIDS. When you breastfeed your baby for at least two months, you cut the risk of SIDS by almost 50 percent.
It’s one of the most vital breast milk benefits for babies. There may be no direct explanation for SIDS.
However, the theory is that breastfed babies rouse from sleep with more ease. The immune protection of breast milk may aid in avoiding SIDS.
When Breastfed, Your Baby Gets Smarter
Studies show that breastfed babies have a larger brain size than formula-fed babies. Breastfed babies also have a somewhat higher IQ than infants who had formula. Again, this goes back to the key nutrients in breast milk that help brain development.
The skin-to-skin contact also adds to the intellectual development of babies. When they have this skin-to-skin contact, infants feel safe and nurtured. Parents who want to bottle-feed their baby can also provide this skin-to-skin contact.
Are you looking to save some of your breast milk for later? A breast pump can also help nursing mothers who are struggling to produce breastmilk. Learn what to look for in a breast pump now.
Avoid Health Risks in Mothers
What are the benefits of breast milk for mommies? Nursing doesn’t only benefit your infant. It also benefits the mother in many ways. First, you burn 300-500 calories each day you nurse your baby.
If you’re experiencing postpartum stress, nursing promotes postpartum recovery. When a baby suckles on your breast, your body releases oxytocin. This encourages your uterus to shrink down to its pre-pregnancy size.
Breastfeeding is Convenient
While breastfeeding is essential to the early development of babies, many mothers find it difficult to do. Often, the reasons include that the baby can’t latch on or they lack support at home. In other cases, they have to get back to work right away and/or have a work schedule that doesn’t allow time for pumping.
Let’s not forget that 57% of American mothers feel uncomfortable about public breastfeeding. This public disapproval gets mothers kicked out of establishments or hear rude comments. It’s an unnatural public response to a natural part of being a mother.
Still, why should babies drink breast milk? The final entry to this list is that it’s convenient. Whenever your baby feels hungry and starts giving you the signs, it’s quick and easy to feed him.
What Are the Benefits of Breast Milk?
That ends our guide to the question of what are the benefits of breast milk. We hope you found this short guide on breastfeeding educational and useful. Now, you know how breastfeeding can benefit you and your baby.
Did you like what you read on the benefits of breastfeeding? Do you want to see more educational guides on caring for your baby? Check out our other posts now for more content on baby care.