If you’re expecting a little one and face the dilemma of whether or not to breastfeed, consider the many benefits of breastfeeding. Sure, you probably already realize the money you’ll save by breastfeeding versus formula feeding and sure, you probably know that breastfeeding is healthier for the baby.
But do you know all of the reasons why it’s healthier? Are you aware of the countless benefits of breastfeeding other than the fact that it’s more affordable, convenient and that it’s healthier? See below to find out just 10 of the many benefits of breastfeeding your children.
Why Breast Is Best
1. Benefit – Nutritious
The breast milk that your body produces is custom-made to meet the unique needs and demands of your baby. It contains the precise amounts of vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and carbohydrates that your baby needs for growth and development. And as your baby grows, the milk your body produces will also change to meet the changing needs of your little one.
2. Easier for Baby to Digest
It is a known fact that human milk is just easier for babies to digest compared to formula. This means that baby has less chance of becoming gassy or fussy due to digestion issues.
3. Breast-milk Protects Newborns
When you first begin to breastfeed, you’ll initially produce what is known as colostrum. This colostrum is packed with antibodies that help to protect your baby from bacteria, disease and allergies. Colostrum is particularly important for babies born prematurely.
4. Baby Genius
According to evidence, breastfed babies tend to score higher than bottle fed babies on IQ tests. Previous studies have shown an increase of up to 7.5 IQ points in elementary age children who were breastfed, as well as an increase in verbal, performance and comprehensive IQ in adults.
5. A Bond Like None Other
The bond between a mother and her breastfed child is like none other. Unless you’ve experienced this type of special bond, it’s hard to explain but this bond is scientifically proven. The link between this special bond and breastfeeding is in the hormone oxytocin.
Oxytocin is released by the mother’s body when breastfeeding and this hormone in combination with the contractions stimulated by breastfeeding, helps to promote the all famous mothers instinct and of course maternal behavior.
6. Happy Baby
Babies need to be held and cradled to feel safe, secure, comforted and loved. The closeness between mother and child during breastfeeding time helps keep baby content and secure. This, too, is scientifically proven. And a happy baby equals a happy mama.
Breastfeeding is free. When you breastfeed, there’s no need to purchase costly formula and everything that comes along with it. If you choose to express milk, which is smart in the event of an emergency, you’ll still want to keep a few bottles on-hand and a good breast pump.
Sure, you’ll have to be discreet, but breastfeeding offers a convenience you won’t find when bottle feeding. When you breastfeed, warm, nutritious milk is always readily available to baby without the need to store a bottle or heat a bottle up when the baby is hungry. You can breastfeed almost anywhere anytime.
9. Reduces Risk of Certain Types of Cancer for Mom
According to research, moms who breastfeed their babies have an added level of protection against cancers such as breast cancer and ovarian cancer. And the longer mom breastfeeds, the better. To achieve this benefit, mom must breastfeed longer than 3 months and preferably 12 months or longer.
10. Reduces Chances of Cancer for Babies Too
Breastfed baby girls have a 25% reduced chance of breast cancer compared to bottle fed baby girls. And breastfeeding greatly reduces the chance of childhood leukemia in all children. Breastfed babies have an 11% lowered risk of developing this type of cancer.