Benefits of Breastfeeding
14-02-2020 | Posted in General News
Breastfeeding is enjoying something of a boom in popularity right now, as new mums realise the benefits of breastfeeding, and feeding their babies in the most natural way possible. Gone are the dark days of embarrassment about performing this natural act of motherhood, along with absurd fears it will reduce or distort the size of breasts, and other misgivings. True, breastfeeding is not for everyone, and as a new mother it is entirely your choice whether you breastfeed your baby or not, use formula milk, or even breastfeed with a formula top-up. However it’s worth knowing all about the benefits of breastfeeding and what the wonders of breast milk can do for you and your baby.
Reasons to Breastfeed Your Baby
‘Breast is best’, so they say. But they really do say. There are so many research papers and studies into the benefits of breastfeeding your baby. The World Health Organisation agrees, and recommends breastfeeding to all new mothers:
“Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health.” – World Health Organisation
The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby
Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for babies. It has an almost perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat – everything your baby needs. Babies that are breastfed get a boost to their immune system which can protect them against nasty bugs, and babies that are breastfed do not get as many colds as babies that aren’t breastfed. The reason for this is the antibodies and nutrients in mother’s milk that are passed to the baby offer protection against infections and viruses. Not only that, it can protect against allergies, diabetes, digestive orders, and even certain types of cancer. It makes bones and teeth strong, and also contributes towards brain growth thanks to fatty acids found in breast milk. Breast milk may even protect your baby from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mums
Lose the Pregnancy Tummy
The process of milk production in nursing mothers burns a significant number of calories, and the more your baby feeds, the more breast milk you naturally produce. All in all this means breastfeeding can help you burn some calories, and even shed the added weight gain of your pregnancy.
Oxytocin is released when breastfeeding, which as well as helping you naturally bond with your baby, this hormone also helps with the shrinking down of your uterus – down to the size it was before you were pregnant. By week one postpartum, it’ll be close to the size it was at 12 weeks pregnant, and by six weeks postpartum, it’ll be very small. Breastfeeding helps accelerate that whole process.
Lower Breast Cancer Risk
Breastfeeding also protects mothers from developing breast cancer. Research shows mothers who breastfeed lower their risk of pre-and post-menopausal breast cancer. This reduces a woman’s lifetime exposure to hormones like estrogen, which can promote breast cancer cell growth.
Other Benefits of Breastfeeding…
One of the great benefits of breastfeeding your baby, is convenience. You can feed you baby when and where you want. No worrying about carrying bottles to carry, wash and sterilise. People nowadays are very accustomed to seeing breastfeeding mums nursing their babies in public, and many champion it. Public spaces are also far more aware of mother and baby needs too, and it’s common to find Shopping malls and cafes with private baby changing rooms which includes a space to feed your baby too. These are small things, but help if you’re somewhat shy of breastfeeding in full public view.
Bottle Washing and Cleaning
Yes, you may not exclusively feed your baby from the breast. You may feed formula some of the time along with breastfeeding… This may be if your baby requires a top-up and isn’t receiving enough milk from the breast. There are certainly advantages to breast pumping to have some extra breast milk stored. Maybe you would like your partner to feed the baby, or have an evening out planned and know you won’t be able to breastfeed the baby.
All of the above said, there is nothing more satisfying than having the milk ready to go, without the need to wash and sterilise bottles, warm the milk, etc. This is particularly convenient during night feedings. Instead of stumbling half-asleep into the kitchen and having to warm a bottle of milk, it’s ready for baby right where you are. Multiple feeds during the night… no problem! This may seem like a small thing, but with a screaming baby who is too young to comprehend why the milk has to prepared, having it ready immediately helps a lot. And no bottles to wash!
Yes there’s an added financial benefit to breastfeeding, with all that naturally produced free milk from mama. As new parents, there are so many things to have to pay out for, so why pay for milk too?! You’re producing the milk, your baby loves it – with all the benefits that brings, and your wallet is better off for it too.
Feel the Benefit
As you can see there are so many benefits of breastfeeding. It really is, all positives, no negatives. There’s a wealth of study and information to back this up, so if you’ve any doubts then do some research, and you’ll see the benefits of breastfeeding.
We hope you have found this post on the benefits of breastfeeding useful. Medicare Colgate – Sterifeed is UK leader for its range of milk storage bottles and Baby Care Products.