More Reasons for Breastfeeding

Wide Head Mama with baby close up
Creative Commons License photo credit: Nico Nelson

For some time during the past century, breastfeeding has fallen out of fashion in the United States. The fact of the matter is that these things tend to ebb and flow in terms of popularity and acceptability. There are those that would argue that this has been a bad thing, that breastfeeding is essential to the health and well-being of a child. The fact of the matter is that breastfeeding may provide a number of benefits to your baby, although it’s also true that a bottle fed baby won’t necessarily be any worse off.

Still, if you’re trying to decide whether or not you want to breastfeed, there are some important potential breastfeeding benefits for your baby that you should consider. Here are just a few of those:

  • Colostrum, that first milk that your body produces, is full of antibodies and nutrients that help your baby adjust to living outside of the womb. The fact of the matter is that your baby’s immune system is still getting into gear over those first few days. Colostrum gives an added layer of protection that will help your baby to avoid the onset of any of those early sort of illnesses.
  • Breast milk is nutritionally perfect for your baby. Breast milk has the right mix of fat, protein, carbohydrates, and water to help your baby get exactly what she needs. It provides the nutrients that are most important to your baby so that she can grow and develop the way that she needs to.
  • It’s easier to digest breast milk than it is formula. Formula is derived from cow’s milk, which can be difficult to digest, at first. Some babies may have difficulty digesting formula. Breast milk is much more gentle on your baby’s tummy, and can help to avoid certain types of gastrointestinal problems.
  • Breast milk offers protection from some illnesses. Babies who are breastfed may have a higher resistance to infection, asthma, obesity, diabetes, and childhood leukemia. There is also some research that is suggesting that babies who are breastfed may have a lower risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) as well.

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