Can the world ever stop talking about the benefits of breastfeeding? I think not. Especially as researchers are finding out new beneficial stuff about breastfeeding and breastmilk. Not only is it good for babies, it’s also good for the breastfeeding mothers too and we’re not just talking about the joys of knowing your baby’s belly is full.
Look at these benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies alike.
6. Boosts Baby’s Brain Development & Efficiency
First, breastmilk contains fatty acids and other nutrients that build brain tissue and neural connections. This is probably why researchers have discovered that children who were breastfed when they were babies score higher in IQ tests and have more efficient cognitive abilities. It’s not just that, they found out that the longer they were breastfed, the higher the scores. Want your child to be super intelligent? Breastfeed them!
7. Protects Babies Against Disease
Researches show and prove that breastfeeding/breastmilk protects baby from a host of illnesses including ear infections, stomach viral infections and meningitis, to name a few. Even if, and when they occur, the symptoms, severity and duration are drastically minimised. To have your baby enjoy this protective benefits of breastmilk, breastfeed him/her exclusively (no formula food) for the first six months. This is largely because of an abundance of immunoglobulin A in the colustrum -the first milk your body produces.
8. Lowers Risk Of Obesity
Here’s another one; breastmilk contains a low amount of insulin which is responsible for the creation of fat tissue. Formula food on the other hand contains a relatively high amount of insulin and so it’s not surprising that studies reveal a prevalence of rapid weight gain in babies who are fed formula food. In addition to a low amount of insulin, breastmilk also contains leptin -a hormone that is supposed to regulate appetite. No wonder, the effects of breastmilk on a child’s weight goes beyond their childhood: studies show that children who were breastfed were less likely to get obese in their teen ages than children who weren’t.
9. Prevents Allergic Reactions
Breastfeeding also helps to stop a baby’s reaction to certain foods. It does this by initiating the creation of a protective lining inside the baby’s intestines. Without this protective lining, inflammation causes the intestine to become weak. This gives certain undigested proteins access to the baby’s gut thereby causing these allergic reactions. Formula fed babies do not have this protection and so are susceptible to food allergies.
In conclusion, breastfeeding is a gift of nature. The benefits are simply priceless. We haven’t even mentioned the fact that it’s an economic advantage. Imagine how much you would spend to buy formula food or to treat your baby for those illnesses and conditions that would have occurred if you didn’t breastfeed. And did you know that breastfeeding is a great way to get rid of calories? Your breastmilk contains 20 calories per ounce so, according to experts, you could be getting rid of about 400-500 calories daily. Isn’t that something good?