Breastfeeding Benefits

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Over the past couple of decades, breastfeeding has come back into vogue. More and more, research is showing the many benefits of breastfeeding. Accordingly, many women are choosing to breastfeed their babies.

Nature has specifically designed breast milk for your baby. Breast milk contains the exact nutrients that a baby needs, in just the right amounts. Breastfeeding allows your body’s immune system to aid the immune system of your growing baby. The many benefits to your baby provided by breastfeeding may include:

  • Higher resistance to illness, such as flu, colds, viruses and pneumonia
  • Higher resistance to infection, such as e-coli, staph, and strep infections
  • Higher resistance to intestinal disorders
  • Higher resistance to urinary tract infections
  • Added protection against Crohn’s disease, diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colitis, and some forms of lymphoma
  • Reduce incidence of dental cavities
  • Assisted jaw, teeth, and speech development
  • Lower chance of developing allergies
  • Lower chance of learning disabilities

Your baby is not the only one that can benefit from breastfeeding, however. Benefits for the breastfeeding mom can include:

  • Reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer
  • Weight loss for the mother
  • Lower mom’s stress levels
  • A reduction of postpartum bleeding
  • A reduction of postpartum depression
  • Delay of menses, which will decrease mom’s iron losses
  • Increased “good” (HDL) cholesterol, which can reduce the risk of heart disease
  • The facilitation of bonding between mother and infant

In addition, some breastfeeding advocates suggest that breastfeeding may reduce the amount of environmental waste that would otherwise be produced with bottle feeding, such as fertilizers used to grow the soy in formula, land used by milk cattle, use of water and fuel to sterilize bottles and nipples, and the leftover waste of cans, cartons, bottles, and such. However, no solid research has been produced that convincingly demonstrates the degree to which these things may truly aid the environment.

While not all moms will choose to breastfeed, and some will be unable to breastfeed, clearly there are advantages to breastfeeding that should be weighed alongside any disadvantages.


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This entry was posted in Breastfeeding.


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