Choosing to breastfeed your baby is one of the first decision expectant parents will make. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding is best for baby, providing a natural and beneficial source of nutrition and the healthiest start for an infant. There are many benefits to breastfeeding for your baby that extend well beyond basic nutrition, and it also provides many benefits for mom too!
Benefits for Baby:
- Increased Immunity against infections
- Breastfeeding can protect your baby from contracting respiratory illnesses, ear infections, and gastrointestinal infections.
- Reduced risk of chronic constipation, colic, and other stomach upsets.
- Breast milk, unlike formula which is made from cow’s milk, is much easier for your baby to digest so they will be less gassy and less constipated.
- Lower rates of obesity and diabetes
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Proper jaw, mouth and speech development
- Can be related to the differences between the way baby sucks on a breast versus a bottle.
- Lower incidence of allergies, eczema, and asthma
- Increased IQ scores
- Some studies suggest an 8 point higher IQ scores in breastfed babies.
- Lower rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Lower rates of childhood cancers
- Increased bonding between baby and mom
Benefits for Mom:
- Decrease post-partum bleeding
- When the baby sucks on the breast, a hormone, oxytocin, is released which helps to contract your uterus and minimize the amount and duration of postpartum bleeding.
- Help you lose weight faster
- Can burn as much as 500 calories per day through breastfeeding!
- Reduce the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer
- Reduce the rate of post-partum depression
- Save you money
- Breastfeeding is free! Formula can cost as much as $3,500 in the first year alone! This does not include the cost of bottles or the time spent preparing it.
- Decrease the risk of osteoporosis later in life
- Increased bonding between mom and baby