The Benefits of Breastfeeding
Research shows that breastfeeding gives your baby the best start in life. Here are some of the remarkable benefits of breastfeeding for you and your baby:
The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Babies
- Breastfed babies receive the best start with nutrition.
- Breastmilk changes as your baby grows and provides just the right amount of nutrients.
- Breastmilk protects against ear infections and respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia.
- Breastmilk protects your baby's intestinal tract from infection.
- Breastmilk reduces the risk of chronic constipation, colic, and other stomach upsets.
- Breastmilk reduces the risk of childhood diabetes.
- Breastmilk protects your baby from allergies, asthma, and skin rashes.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) Statistics reveal that for every 87 deaths from SIDS, only 3 are breastfed.
- Breastfed babies have a decreased risk of tooth decay (cavities).
- Breastfeeding promotes facial structure development, enhanced speech, and straighter teeth.
- Breastfed children have less risk of becoming overweight.
- Breastfed infants have higher IQ's and better brain growth.
- Breastfed children have less chance of heart disease and high blood pressure when they become adults.
- Breastfed babies enjoy a special warm bonding and emotional relationship with their mothers.
The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Moms
- Breastfeeding helps the uterus contract to control bleeding after childbirth.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of low iron in the blood.
- Women who have breastfed for 12 months or more have stronger, thicker bones with less chance of hip fracture later in life.
- Breastfeeding helps the mother's body return to its pre-pregnancy weight faster.
- Mothers who breastfeed develop a special emotional relationship and bonding with their child.
- Breastmilk is free. Artificial milks cost $1500 to $2000 the first year of a baby's life.
- Breastfed babies are sick less which decreases healthcare costs to your family in health care provider office visits, prescriptions, over the counter medicine purchases, and hospitalizations.
- Breastfeeding Moms miss less time off from work due to child related illnesses.
Skin-to-Skin Contact and an Early Start to Breastfeeding
Research shows that uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby for the first few hours after birth is essential. Here are some of the benefits of skin-to-skin contact for you and your baby:
- Skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth helps your baby to maintain a normal body temperature.
- Your baby needs to be close to you after birth. Babies recognize their mother's smell and calm and soothe more readily on their mother's body. This makes them more responsive to feeding.
- This experience is an important part of your baby's normal recovery from birth.
- Mothers and babies who have early skin-to-skin contact have more success with breastfeeding and breastfeed longer.
- When placed on your chest or belly, your baby will search around for your nipple. Your baby will bring the tongue forward and then open the mouth wide to latch to your breast. Your baby will learn to do this in the correct order by practicing at the breast.
- Your baby may find the way to the breast and latch and suckle all on her or his own, but you can also help your baby a little with positioning if necessary.
- Be patient and give your baby time to learn the new skill of breastfeeding.
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