Choosing to breastfeed provides mothers and babies with many health and emotional benefits as studies have shown the advantage of breast milk over formula. The World Health Organisation advises mothers to breastfeed their babies for at least 6 months. Perhaps these 10 great benefits will motivate you to breastfeed.
1. Boost baby brain power: Breast milk contains a lot of nutrients that help babies develop. Studies show babies who are breastfed exclusively have higher grades in school as they perform better academically.
2. Encourages bonding: Breastfeeding releases the bonding hormone oxytocin. This provides a feeling of closeness and comfort between you and your child, which helps build a secure and loving relationship.
3. Breastfeeding provides immunities: Breast milk contains antibodies that protects your baby from developing allergies and diseases like colds, diarrhea and other infections. Your first milk after birth (colostrum) coats your baby’s digestive system, protecting her from harmful bacteria which is important for babies born prematurely.
4. Protects mothers from cancer : Breastfeeding mothers reduce their risk of getting ovarian and breast cancer. Studies show women who breastfeed regularly cut their risk as much as 60%. Basically the more children you breastfeed the lower your risk of cancer.
5. Breastfeeding relaxes mother and child: When breastfeeding, you release a hormone called prolactin, which makes you calm and relaxed. It is also beneficial to babies as it helps them sleep better, which explains why they fall asleep while breastfeeding.
6. Could help with birth control: If done correctly and regularly, breastfeeding could be an effective form of birth control for at least six months. Remember you have to do it right or end up with another surprise.
7. Breast milk is safe and convenient: Breast milk is always fresh, safe with the right temperature. You don’t have to worry about boiling water and mixing formula. Going out with your baby is much easier as you do not need to carry bottles along and there is no need for refrigerating.
8. Great for working mums: Breastfeeding does not disturb working mothers. You can easily express milk by hand or with a breast pump. If you are too busy you can leave the milk with a caregiver or refrigerate for later.
9. Could help you lose weight: Breastfeeding helps you burn a lot of calories daily. This does not necessarily mean you will get rid of your pregnancy weight in a jiffy, but a lot of women have testified that breastfeeding has helped them lose weight.
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10. It saves money: This is what a lot of us will like to hear. When compared to baby formula, breastfeeding saves you a lot of money as it is a cheaper way to feed your baby, leaving you with some extra cash in your pocket.