Benefits of breastfeeding

Breast milk is undoubtedly the preferred option of nutrition for a newborn. While new mums maybe a little hesitant, knowing that breast feeding is like a bouquet of benefits, for both the child and the mother, should definitely inspire every new mum to breast feed.

Some interesting facts about breast-feeding

  • Breastfed babies are less likely to be obese

According to research, babies who are breastfed during the first six months of their life have reduced chances of obesity during adulthood. Scientists have found out that the brain develops a feeding pattern during the first few months after the baby is born. This feeding pattern can be traced to the fact that weight problems are more common in adults who were over-fed with formula based baby milk during the first few months after birth.

  • Breastfed babies are less likely to have type-II diabetes

Breast milk is considered to be an extremely beneficial source of nutrients for the newborns because it helps to reduce risks of a number of diseases including diabetes. If a woman develops gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, chances are high that her baby would be obese during his or her childhood. However, when a baby is breastfed for at least 6 months, such chances are neutralized.

  • Intelligence is higher for breastfed babies

According to studies, breastfed babies are likely to be more educated and earn more than babies who were not breastfed. Studies have also found out that prolonged breastfeeding can not only increase intelligence until the age of 30, but can also contribute to the higher educational attainment and earning capability of the individual.

  • It has been said that breastfeeding is a method of birth control which has a 98% success rate

Breastfeeding can work as a method of birth control during the first 6 six months after child birth, though it may not be as foolproof as the other methods of contraception. Breastfeeding as a form of contraception is known as Lactational Amenorrhoea Method (LAM). LAM has been found to be 98% effective.

  • Breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression all have their chances reduced by breastfeeding

Women who breastfeed their babies may undergo hormonal changes during their lactation period that delay their menstrual periods. This can result in reduction of a woman’s exposure to estrogen, thus promoting growth of breast cancer cells. Breast-feeding is also believed to prevent ovarian cancer since it can delay ovulation. Researchers suggest that as there are more ovulations, risks of cell mutation increase, which in turn trigger chances of ovarian cancer.

  • Diarrhea and pneumonia are both less likely to happen if a baby is breastfed

Breastfeeding helps to promote cognitive and sensory development in the baby and protects him/her against a number of infectious and chronic diseases. Evidence suggests that exclusive breastfeeding can help in reducing infant mortality by preventing the child against common diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia, and also by aiding quicker recovery.

  • Breastfeeding should begin within one hour of birth

Breast-feeding during the first hour of birth provides a number of benefits for the baby as the baby receives the “colostrum” which is enriched with immunological properties. These prevent the baby against infections and diseases. It also provides other advantages such as stimulation of the baby’s bowels and digestive system.

  • Breastfed infants are at a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden infant death syndrome is referred to the death of a normal, healthy infant of not even a year old in his/her sleep. The cause of the death is yet to be known but can be and usually is associated with abnormalities in development of the brain of the baby. Infants who are breastfed show better brain development as compared to the ones who are not. Therefore, experts advise to regularly breastfeed your infants as it leads to proper development of the brain and reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

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