Breast milk is a living substance packed with nutrients, antibodies, and vitamins, providing the perfect nutritional composition for your growing baby. As your baby develops and responds to the environment around them, the composition of your breast milk will adapt to meet their needs. Breast milk is readily available, easily digestible, and provides benefits that can never be duplicated. Babies that are not fed breast milk do not receive antibody protection and are more vulnerable to health issues and disease. Experts recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months and continued breastfeeding for 2 years or as long as the mother and baby desire. Some mothers exclusively express breast milk for their babies, while others nurse directly at the breast. No matter how you decide to provide breast milk for your baby, you will give them the best start by choosing to breastfeed.
Benefits of providing breast milk for your baby include:
- Stronger immune systems and greater immunity to infection
- Lower cortisol levels ensure better brain development
- Lower rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Fewer colds, respiratory illness, and ear infections
- Less risk of allergies, eczema, and asthma
- Fewer rates of childhood cancer
- Lowered risk of Type 1 and II Diabetes
- Fewer risk of gastrointestinal disease, Crohn’s, and colitis
- Less picky of an eater
- Less risk of obesity
- Promotes bonding & childhood independence
- Higher IQ
The benefits of breastfeeding are not limited to your baby alone. By breastfeeding you will also receive physical and emotional benefits that will last a lifetime.
Benefits for the breastfeeding mother:
- Stimulates uterine contractions reducing the uterus to normal size
- Less risk of postpartum depression
- Less risk of hemorrhage & anemia
- Decreases blood pressure
- Lower risk of breast & ovarian cancer
- Less endometriosis
- Less rheumatoid arthritis & lupus
- Physical & emotional bonding with baby
- Breastfed babies cry less, increasing the calmness for the mother
- Overall increased confidence & self-esteem
The immunological, nutritional, and psychological benefits of breastfeeding for you and your baby never end. If breastfeeding is going well and you both want to continue, there is no need to stop. Connect with a local breastfeeding support group and lactation consultant to prepare you for breastfeeding and support you with any challenges that may arise. When you choose to breastfeed, you are giving your baby a beautiful gift with endless benefits throughout life.
If you have questions about breastfeeding or choosing a breast pump, connect with a StorkPump IBCLC at email@example.com.