Breast Feeding: Benefits for Baby

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What is it about breast feeding that is so critical that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has decided to weigh in on the matter, throwing the weight of the US government behind a movement encouraging mothers to forsake the bottle and breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of your child’s life, when possible? Many of the benefits of breastfeeding are obvious. There is the economic benefit realized by not having to buy infant formula for nourishment that mom’s body does a better job of producing, naturally and free of outside cost. But what, specifically, are the benefits of breast feeding for baby? Below are just a few of the many significant reasons why it is best to breastfeed your baby when possible:

  • Breast milk is easiest for baby’s stomach to digest. Infant formula can take up to twice as long for a newborn to digest.
  • Breast milk is full of antibodies which protect baby from infections, both viral and bacterial. These infections include stomach viruses, ear infections, and more.
  • Breast milk contains the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals designed by nature specifically for human babies. Additionally, the make up of breast milk changes over time, adjusting to the changing needs of your baby. Your first breast milk is rich in colostrum, which gives your baby much needed antibodies, and your breast milk naturally adjusts to meet baby’s needs for protein, fat, water, sugar, and more.
  • Breastfeeding has been linked to lower instances of several diseases and maladies in babies. These include asthma, diabetes, leukemia, and necrotizing enterocolitis, a gastro-intestinal disease.
  • Breastfed babies have significantly fewer cases of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or crib death).
  • Children who were breast fed as babies have a better chance of avoiding childhood obesity.
  • Babies who are breast fed have diarrhea less frequently. This also leads to fewer instances of diaper rash, especially if breast feeding is coupled with cloth diapering.
  • Baby’s hunger can be satisfied at any time when mom breastfeeds. There is no need to wait while formula is made, bottles are sterilized, etc. Breast milk is designed to be ready on demand.
  • Breast feeding helps baby bond with Mom.

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This entry was posted in Pregnancy.


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