Breastfeeding Benefits

There are many studies that have shown the advantages of breast feeding, not only for the baby, but also for the mother. There is no doubt that breast feeding carries many advantages. Many mothers find that they truly enjoy the process of breast feeding their babies, especially when they realize that their baby will be happier and healthier as a result of breast feeding!

Benefits to the Baby
1. Due to the anti-infective properties of breast milk, breastfed babies tend to have less incidence of or less pronounced symptoms of ear infections, respiratory illness, allergies, diarrhea, and vomiting
2. Due to the digestibility of breast milk, breastfed babies are rarely constipated.
3. The stools of breastfed babies are mild-smelling.
4. SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is less common in breastfed babies.
5. Breast milk is constantly changing in its composition to meet the changing needs of the baby.
6. It has the exact combination of protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and sugars needed for the human infant at various stages of his growth.

Benefits to the Mother
1. Studies indicate that breastfeeding helps improve mothers’ health, as well as their children’s. A woman grows both physically and emotionally from the relationship she forms with her baby. Just as a woman’s breast milk is designed specifically to nourish the body of an infant, the production and delivery of this milk aids her own health.
2. Breastfeeding helps a woman to lose weight after birth. Mothers burn many calories during lactation as their bodies produce milk. In fact, some of the weight gained during pregnancy serves as an energy source for lactation.
3. Breastfeeding releases a hormone in the mother (oxytocin) that causes the uterus to return to its normal size more quickly.
4. Breastfeeding appears to reduce the mother’s risk of developing osteoporosis in later years. Although the mothers experienced bone-mineral loss during breastfeeding, their mineral density is replenished and even increased after lactation.
5. Diabetic women improve their health by breastfeeding. Not only do nursing infants have increased protection from juvenile diabetes, the amount of insulin that the mother requires postpartum goes down.
6. Women who lactate for a total of two or more years reduce their chances of developing breast cancer by 24 percent.
Women who breastfeed their children have been shown to be less likely to develop uterine, endometrial or ovarian cancer.
7. The emotional health of the mother may be enhanced by the relationship she develops with her infant during breastfeeding, resulting in fewer feelings of anxiety and a stronger sense of connection with her baby.

Other Benefits
1. Breastfeeding makes you feel good; the hormones produced during nursing have an endorphin effect giving you a relaxed feeling.
2. You have a great excuse to sit down and relax…..
3. You can nurse while sleeping…nursing moms get more rest than formula feeding moms.
4. Breastfeeding saves moms about 7 hours a week off their feet.
5. It’s the only time you can ever lose weight without dieting or exercise!
6. During times of disaster, you don’t have to worry about finding formula.
7. Breastfed babies smell great….spit ups don’t stain, or smell and poppies diapers are not offensive… (Until solids are introduced)
8. The strong bond developed with nursing is much more intense.
9. The satisfaction of knowing you are giving your baby the best start in life!

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