Key Benefits of Breastfeeding That Every Mom Should Know
The benefits of breastfeeding are well documented, and it’s likely you’ve heard and researched a lot of them! We thought we’d go through our favorite breastfeeding benefits for both mama’s and little ones.
Disclaimer: this article is meant to outline the benefits of breastfeeding and in no way is trying to be negative towards moms that choose to formula feed! You should do your own research and commit to what feels right for you!
Building Your Babies Immune System
Breast milk plays a big role in building up an infants immune system. The antibodies moms body produces during breastfeeding will be passed over and help baby to fight off infection and bacteria.
Colostrum, or the first milk, is a thick fluid produced right after birth by the breasts and contains high levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and several other essential antibodies. IgA forms a protective layer in the nose, throat and digestive system which protects against sickness.
Need more information about myths about being sick and breastfeeding? Read our article: 🤧 Breastfeeding With A Cold?! 🤧
The Ideal Level of Nutrition
Breast milk is perfectly designed to contain all of the essential nutrients needed for your babies growth, and in all of the right amounts. Colostrum contains high amounts of protein necessary for your baby to have a strong start.
Infant formula is typically made from cow’s milk, human milk is easier for babies to digest and to absorb the essential nutrients through their gut lining. Breastfed babies are also more likely to gain the right amount of weight at the right pace, ensuring the right level of calories and nutrients are being provided. Breast milk even changes it composition depending on what you baby needs!
Reduction in Disease & Infection
There is plenty of research that shows breast fed babies contract less illness, and breast milk can help fight against infections right up into adult life!
Breastfeeding may result in lowering the risk of:
Colds and infections: 63% reduction
Respiratory tract infections: 72% reduction
Gut infections: 64% reduction
Intestinal tissue problems: 60% reduction
Allergic diseases: 27-42% reduction
Middle ear infections: 50% reduction
Celiac disease: 52% reduction
Inflammatory bowel disease: 30% reduction
Helping Your Uterus
Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin which helps induce involution (the process of the uterus contracting) returning your uterus to pre-pregnancy size. Oxytocin also will reduce uterine bleeding.
On top of that, breastfeeding has also been shown to lower the risk of ovarian and breast cancers, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and obesity in moms. 1
You are growing a child, of course you need to gain weight! But it’s not so easy to lost after child birth, especially as in the first 3 months of breastfeeding mothers may actually gain or maintain their baby weight. This is because of the hormonal changes associated with lactating and increase in appetite to provide the energy demands of breastfeeding. As well as the increase in fat storage for milk.
However after about 3 months breastfeeding moms will likely experience increased fat burning, start to lose that extra weight faster than women who don’t breastfeed.
Lowers The Risk of Depression
Postpartum depression can occur shortly after childbirth, with all mothers being at risk, and up to 15% experiencing it.
Evidence has suggested that mothers who breastfeed are at less risk of developing postpartum depression. This is thought to be because of the oxytocin produced during breastfeeding which appears to have anti-anxiety effects and encourage feelings of relaxation and bonding between mother and child.
Breastfeeding is obviously free, well it’s not but let’s talk about that another day! With the exception of your time, equipment etc. overall it can work out cheaper than buying formula, and in general babies that are breastfed have been reported to have less hospitalisations, infections, trips to the doctor and prescriptions - saving you money on your healthcare bills! There is always the benefit of it coming without any packaging or creating pollution in its making.
There you have it - some of the key benefits to moms and babies from breastfeeding! We are sure we have missed some - let us know in the comments below what your top picks of benefits are! Plus remember to subscribe to our blog to receive regular updates and new articles. Whether you are a mother or an employer, join our discussion by following us on our social media: @lactlscreens and use #lactl.