Breastfeeding is the natural process of providing nourishment to an infant. Breast milk has the right balance of vitamins, proteins, fats, and other required nutrients for the healthy growth of your baby. Also, besides just providing your child with sustenance, breastfeeding contributes largely to a mother's health as well.
Some studies evidenced that babies showed a better sense of development when they consumed breast milk instead of formula milk. This is because of the multiple properties that breast milk has over its other alternatives. So, here are four advantages of breastfeeding that you can experience with your child.
As breast milk is absorbed better by the baby's digestive system, it provides more nutrients to the body and results in increased immunity. By building resistance within the body, it safeguards your child from respiratory problems, asthma, and diarrhoea.
For the mother, breastfeeding reduces the risk of getting breast and ovarian cancers, as well as the chance of suffering from osteoporosis, which is a disease that results in the thinning of bones. Further, by helping you reduce your pregnancy weight, it wards off the possibility of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes as well.
Another one of the many advantages of breastfeeding is that a natural bonding forms between you and your child during this process. This emotional connection makes the body release oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that makes you happy. This skin-to-skin contact is great for the baby as well, resulting in a sense of security. Further, studies showed that mothers who breastfed were generally less stressed, more relaxed, and had an overall sense of satisfaction.
When breastfed children were compared to formula-fed children, research showed better cognitive development in babies who drank breast milk. This could be due to a combination of physical, emotional, and health-related benefits that contribute to high intelligence levels. Especially in premature babies, who are more susceptible to health issues, breast milk can enhance growth levels and improve long-term brain development too.
Everyone knows calcium is good for the strengthening of bones. However, not many are aware that the freshness and naturally beneficial properties of breast milk increase the chances of calcium absorption for both the mother as well as the baby. Healthy bones are a very good sign of overall development that lead to increased strength, agility, and bone weight.
Breastfeeding cannot be taken lightly. Especially for the first six months of your baby's life, you need to provide your child with breast milk regularly before beginning the process of weaning. Besides the benefits mentioned above, it is also an economic option, saves you the effort of sterilizing bottles, and is always at the right temperature that your baby needs.
WHO recommends mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies until they attain the age of six months. At the end of the day, while the decision to breastfeed remains your personal choice, hopefully, this list helped clear any doubts that you may have had about the advantages of breastfeeding before.