In addition to the numerous benefits of breast milk for your baby, breastfeeding can deliver perks for mothers, too.
Breast milk is nature’s perfect food.
Your breast milk is the best source for the nutritional needs of a newborn baby.
Benefits of breastfeeding for babies
It's the best nourishment.
Breast milk is meant for a new baby’s digestive system.
The protein and fat in your milk are easier for your baby to digest than those in formula milk or goat and cow milk, and its micronutrients are absorbed with ease.
Additionally, the milk your body produces changes in composition in response to your baby’s needs.
Gives protection against infections.
Every time your baby nurses, he gets a healthy dose of your antibodies, which helps boost his immunity against colds, ear infections, respiratory tract infections and other common childhood illnesses.
This is essential in the first 6 months when your antibody-rich milk also helps protect your little one from diseases that he hasn’t yet been immunized for, like influenza and whooping cough.
Breast milk reduces the risk of SIDS.
According to research, breastfeeding for at least two months cuts the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by nearly 50 per cent.
While the reasons are not fully known, it’s thought that breastfed babies rouse from sleep easily.
The added immune protections may be a contributory factor too.
Easier on your baby's tummy.
Since it’s meant for your little one’s belly, breast milk goes down easier — and stays down easier.
Breastfeed newborns are far less likely to suffer from constipation or diarrhoea in comparison to babies who take formula.
Milk that’s easily digested translates to better smelling poops.
Promotes a healthier weight.
A breastfed baby stops breastfeeding when full, on the other hand, a bottle-fed infant may be encouraged to feed until the bottle is empty.
Moreover, the lower-calorie foremilk served at the beginning of a feed is set to quench thirst.
The higher-calorie hindmilk served at the end of a feed is a filler-upper that signals that it’s time to stop.
The weight-related benefits of breast milk can persist for years.
Research shows that exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months reduces the risk of childhood obesity by at least 25 per cent.
A naturally safe meal.
There’s no need to worry about contamination or recalls when it comes to fresh breast milk — it’s always sterile.
Spoilage is only a potential aspect for pumped milk that sits out or is refrigerated for too long.
Benefits of breastfeeding for moms
It is not your baby that reaps the benefits from breastfeeding – there are perks for the moms too.
Helps in postpartum recovery.
When your baby sucks on your breast, it triggers the release of oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone that encourages your uterus to shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size.
In turn, that reduces your flow of lochia, which curbs your blood loss.
There is more –
By breastfeeding, you burn between 300 and 500 extra calories every day, this may help you to lose the baby weight faster — and even help you maintain a healthy weight down the road.
Nursing means you can usually leave the house without baby bottles, nipples, cleaning supplies and other accessories.
Is it not amazing to breastfeed at 2 am that make a trip to the kitchen for bottles?
Plus, once you and your baby become nursing pros, you’ll be able to do just about anything else at the same time, from eating your dinner to playing with your toddler.
Breastfeeding makes for bonding time for you and your baby.
That physical and emotional connection you get from nursing your baby is the ultimate benefit. (That’s not to say that you won’t bond with your child while bottle-feeding. It just might be in a slightly different way.)
A longer period-free period.
Most breastfeeding moms begin to ovulate 4 to 6 months after giving birth, but some women find that their periods don’t come back for much longer — in some cases, as long as 9 to 18 months.
Even so, you shouldn’t rely on breastfeeding as a form of contraception.
Unless you’re hoping to get pregnant again very soon, talk with your OB/GYN about your birth control options, ideally, before giving birth.