Choosing to breastfeed your newborn baby is an awesome decision and one of the best gifts you can give your little one. This is because breastmilk comes packed with antibodies and antioxidant and is therefore, and is a better alternative to formula. It also contains numerous minerals and vitamins which your baby needs for optimal growth and development.
The World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding your little one for at least six months, after which you can carry out mixed feeding where you gradually introduce solids into your baby’s diet.
Breastfeeding benefits a mother and her child in so many ways besides the known fact of it being an instant food for your baby.
Here are some amazing benefits a mother and her child get from breastfeeding:
For the Baby
1. Breastmilk contains several nutrients and antibodies which help to build up your baby’s under-developed￼￼ immune system.
2. Children who are breastfed have a lower risk of developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
3. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of a baby developing allergies.
4. It reduces the risk of your child developing otitis media (ear infection).
5. Children that are breastfed have a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDs).
6. Formula fed babies are at an increased risk of having weight issues later on.
7. Breastfed babies have a lower risk of developing childhood cancer.
8. Female children that are breastfed have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer later on.
9. Breastfeeding a child makes vaccines they take more effective.
10. Babies have emotional needs and breastfeeding is a good and effective way to have this need met.
11. Babies that are breastfed have a lower risk of meningitis.
12. Your breast produces the exact food type your baby needs. Which means mothers with premature produce the exact milk needed and digestible by their babies.
13. It is a natural sleep inducer for your baby.
14. Babies that are breastfed are less likely to die before their 3rd birthday.
15. Breast milk contains analgesic and is a natural pain relief for babies.
For the Mother
1. Breastfeeding helps in child spacing.
2. Breastfeeding your baby strengthens the bond between a mother and a child.
3. As a mother, you can learn about your baby as you breastfeed.
4. Breastmilk is cheap and readily available.
5. Breastfeeding makes it easier for you to lose your pregnancy weight.
6. It shrinks your uterus and makes it return to normal as oxytocin (a feel-good hormone) gets released when you breastfeed.
7. Breastmilk is always at the right temperature and doesn’t need to be heated up.
8. Breastfeeding helps you heal faster post-delivery.
9. It reduces your risk of developing osteoporosis.
10. It is way less stressful as you are not saddled with the duties of washing and sterilizing bottles or heating up water clean water.
11. There is little or no problem of using contaminated water in preparation.
12. Breastfeeding helps you manage your post-partum depression.
13. It is a natural sleep inducer for a mother.
14. Women who don’t breastfeed are at an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer.
15. Breastfeeding reduces your baby’s risks of developing asthma.