Breastfeeding is every mother’s gift to her baby. It is a special bond that only a mother and her child share. This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months of their life and continue breastfeeding while introducing complementary foods until the baby is 12 months or older. Breastfeeding has numerous benefits for both the mother and the baby and here we will explore five of these benefits.
Breast milk is a nutrient powerhouse and the best source of nutrition for most babies.
As the baby grows, the composition of breast milk changes to meet the baby’s nutritional needs. It contains the perfect blend of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and also provides essential vitamins and minerals, making it the ideal food for the baby’s optimal growth and development.
Breast milk helps protect babies against some short- and long-term illnesses and diseases.
Breastfed babies have a lower risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). They are also less likely to have ear infections and stomach bugs. This is because breast milk contains antibodies from the mother that help strengthen the baby’s immune system and protect them from illnesses.
Breastfeeding creates a strong bond
During breastfeeding, your brain releases hormones like prolactin and oxytocin, promoting bonding between you and your baby. This helps to ease any stress and anxiety you may feel about being a new mom.
Breastfeeding has health benefits for mothers too.
Breastfeeding can reduce the mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. The longer a woman breastfeeds, the greater the benefit to her health.
Mothers can breastfeed their babies anywhere and anytime.
They do not have to worry about preparing bottles or finding a clean and private place to feed them. This makes breastfeeding a convenient and hassle-free option for mothers, especially when they are traveling or on the go. It also provides comfort to the baby during times when their normal routine is disrupted.
Breastfeeding is a beautiful and nurturing experience with both short- and long-term health benefits for the mother and the baby. Breast milk is the baby’s natural food, providing all the nutrients it needs for its early growth and development. Breastfeeding has the astonishing power of providing the baby with the mother’s antibodies, reducing the risk of illnesses and diseases. Both mother and baby can benefit from this wonderful and natural process, creating a stronger bond between them.
To learn more about Erlanger’s services for families through prenatal classes, support groups, and meetings with certified lactation consultants, visit our page HERE.