The benefits of breastfeeding are quite numerous, and outside of the gift of life, there’s really no better gift a mother can give her child besides breast milk! Breast milk is packed full of great antibodies that your baby uses to build his or her immune system, and grow into a strong, healthy child. Breastfeeding isn’t without its obstacles, but if you are considering whether you should breastfeed your child, you may find that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any challenges you might face!
1. Protection from Illness
One of the highest benefits of breastfeeding is the protection from and immunity to certain illnesses and diseases your child receives. Studies have shown that breastfed babies are less likely to get ear infections, colds, stomach viruses, the flu, allergies, respiratory illnesses, and many forms of cancer. The benefits of breast milk even extend to further in life, contributing to a healthier heart, lower risk of diabetes, low cholesterol, and healthy blood pressure!
2. Less Risk of Breast Cancer
Breastfeeding doesn’t just offer benefits for baby; it has great benefits for mom as well. By breastfeeding your baby, you are lowering your risk for breast cancer! If breast cancer runs in your family, this is good news to hear!
3. Bonding Time with Your Baby
Perhaps one of the more tender reasons to breastfeed is because of the quality bonding time that nursing provides you and your little one. Feedings do take time, but it’s nice to get a break and just hold your baby for a little bit. And mothers who breastfeed are more likely to have a closer relationship with their baby once he or she reaches their teen years.
4. Lower Risk of SIDS
Did you know that breastfeeding helps lower your baby’s risk of SIDS? Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a serious and scary possibility for every baby. No parent likes to think of it, so it’s good to know that breastfeeding slashes those risks in half!
5. Less Chance of Obesity
Formula fed babies are generally bigger and put on weight faster than breastfed babies. That’s why doctors recommend supplementing with formula if your baby isn’t putting on as much weight while breastfeeding. This is only in rare cases, usually when the mother isn’t producing enough milk. Breastfeeding also lowers your baby’s risk of obesity on into adulthood.
6. Losing Baby Weight Faster
Many mothers aren’t aware that breastfeeding helps you shed the pounds quickly! Breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories a day, so it’s understandable that you will be losing weigh easier. Just remember not to diet to extremes. You need to keep your milk supply up!
7. Higher IQ
Yes, breastfed babies can have a higher IQ than formula fed babies! According to babycenter.com, a study of almost 4,000 children showed that breastfed babies had significantly higher scores on vocabulary tests at 5 years of age than babies who had been formula fed. Who knew!
This list of benefits to breastfeeding could go on and on, but these are my top choices for breastfeeding over bottle-feeding. Of course, bottle fed babies are not inferior to breastfed babies, but breast milk does contain nutrients that formula companies just cannot duplicate. Do you breastfeed your baby? Please comment below with your reasons for breastfeeding! Thanks for reading!