Did you know what breastfeeding can provide a tonne of benefits not just for your baby but you as well? From low risk of asthma or ear infections and a higher IQ, breast milk is best for your child. Breast milk contains all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in their first six months.
Here are seven benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby.
Help protect baby from illnesses
Studies around the world all claim one thing: that lower respiratory diseases, stomach viruses, ear infections, and even meningitis happens less often in babies who are breastfed that those who are not. A study by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences claims that breastfed children have 20% lower risk of dying than children who were not breastfed.
The secretory immunoglobulin A is the primary immune factor that is present in large amounts of colostrum – the first milk the body products for the baby. It protects against germs by providing a protective layer of mucous membranes in the nose, throat, and intestines of the baby’s body.
In fact, your breast milk is tailored to meet the needs of your baby. The mother’s body responds to pathogens that are in the body to create protection against germs that they are exposed to.
Protects baby from developing allergies
Infants who are fed formula from cow’s milk or soy tend to have more allergies than breastfed babies. Researchers say that this may be due to the immune factors that help prevent allergic reactions and provide a protective layer of the baby’s intestinal tract. The inflammation can contribute to developing the wall of the intestine which can become leaky. This will allow undigested proteins to enter and cause an allergic reaction.
Boosts baby’s IQ
Studies show that scientists have found a connection between breastfeeding and cognitive development. During a study of over 15,000 infants followed from birth to seven years of age, researchers claim the IQ scores and intelligence tests are linked to improved cognitive development.
Another study reveals that nearly 4,000 children showed that breastfed babies had a higher score on vocabulary test than those who were not breastfed. Studies show that the longer they were nurses, the higher the scores were.
Experts say that the emotional bonding that takes place during breastfeeding plays a role in brainpower as well as the fatty acids in breast milk.
Protects against obesity
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding is a way to help reduce the risk of obesity in children. Over 15 studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that breastfeeding helps lower the possibility of obesity as a teen and adult.
Experts claim that breast milk contains less insulin that formula, as well as more Leptin. When compared to formula-fed babies, breastfed infants gain weight faster in the first weeks of life.
Lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
A study in Germany published in 2009, found that breastfeeding is linked to reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Researchers concluded that breastfeeding at a young age could cut the risk in half.
Reduces levels of stress and risk of postpartum depression
Over 9,000 study abstracts claim that women who didn’t breastfeed for stopped breastfeeding early on were put at a higher danger of developing postpartum depression. Many women report to feeling calm and relaxed when breastfeeding.
This is due to the release of the hormone oxytocin that is triggered through nursing. When oxytocin is released while breastfeeding, this also helps your uterus heal and contract after birth. Studies show that 50% of women who are nursing had high levels of oxytocin also had low blood pressure.
Reduce the risk of some types of cancer
Studies have shown that the longer a woman nurses, the more protected they are against ovarian and breast cancer. In fact, nursing for more than a year has proven to be most protective against breast cancer.
While it is not entirely clear just how breastfeeding can help reduce the risk, researchers say it may have to do with the structural changes in breast tissue and lactation that suppress the amount of oestrogen in the body.
Have you breastfed your child or plan on breastfeeding solely? If so, what other benefits have you discovered from nursing? Comment below and let us know what you think!