Advantages of Breastfeeding

By Paula

When I was pregnant I wanted very much to be able to breastfeed. I knew by heart all the advantages of breastfeeding.

The head doctor of the maternity where I gave birth made great efforts to encourage breastfeeding. Babies were sitting with the mothers in the same room and breastfeeding was one of the main concerns of neonatology doctor. Fresh mothers were "bombed" with reading material about breastfeeding benefits. The doors and hallways were also full with documentation regarding advantages of breastfeeding.

Here are the most important advantages of breastfeeding:

1. Breastfeeding benefits for children

Complete nutrition for children
Breast milk is the only food that meets all the specific food needs of the baby. It contains ideal amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates and is digested much better by the immature digestive system of a baby than any powdered milk formula. Milk composition varies during the day and even during a meal, to continuously adapt to the babies needs. At the beginning of the meal is more watery and settle thirst, then more substantial to satisfy hunger.

Breast milk is the ideal food for the digestive system of the new born and, at least in the first 4 -6 months of life, babies do not need anything else.

Powdered milk is trying to provide the substances the child needs and succeeds largely, but the combination of nutrients in breast milk is inimitable and can not be accurately reproduced by artificial means.

Child Immunity
Breast milk contains antibodies that protect the child against bacteria and viruses. In addition, breast milk stimulates production of antibodies by the child's body. This is particularly important in the first 6 months of life when the antibodies received from the mother during pregnancy disappear and the child's immune system must mature fully.

Breastfeeding benefits to the baby are multiple and are objectified by numerous studies, which established that there is a correlation and a direct link between breastfeeding and decreased risk of otitis, gastrointestinal disorders (colitis, gastritis, constipation, diarrhea), infections and respiratory tract infection, bacterial meningitis, autoimmune thyroid disease, infantile eczema or other skin problems, allergies, metabolic disorders, diabetes, hypertension, dental problems (especially tooth decay). Breastfed infants use their jaw muscles and have a dental development better than formula fed children.

Children who were breastfed are less likely to develop allergies. Moreover, breast milk provides the baby with necessary enzymes and antibodies which aren't in any formula milk.

Child intelligence development
Numerous studies indicate an increased IQ among naturally breastfed children.

Breastfeeding calms the baby
Hormones secreted by nursing - oxytocin and prolactin, get to the babies through milk. They are responsible for the calming the baby.

Mother - baby bond
Breastfeeding contributes to establishing a closer link with the baby since the first days of life. Physical contact is important for infants, making them feel safe, loved and cared for. Breastfeeding is a great way to create this type of connection.

One of the greatest advantages of breastfeeding is the strong and durable psyche connection, which is built with every touch, look, gentle word while you feed your baby! This psychological connection is an essential prerequisite of a good start in life.

Breast milk is sterile
Breast milk has the required temperature and has its own "sterile container".

Children development
In the long term breastfeeding decreases the risk of many childhood diseases (rickets, anemia, urinary infections, otitis, respiratory diseases, diarrhea), adolescence or adulthood diseases (diabetes, obesity, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, etc.).

Breast milk provides a harmonious development and growth. Babies fed with formula milk grow much faster, gain more weight and can become obese later. Breastfed babies grow more in the first few months, after which the rate of weight gain stalls. This is the normal growth rate.

2. Breastfeeding benefits for mothers are emotional as well as physical. Studies have shown that mothers that breastfeed their babies have less chances of developing postpartum depression or anxiety states. One explanation is that the breastfeeding triggers the production of oxytocin - "love hormone", which creates a sense of well-being and strengthens the bond between mother and child.

Breastfeeding helps mothers regain their silhouette
At the end of lactation I had the weight I always wanted :), even less than before getting pregnant.

Breastfeeding helps the uterus to retract after delivery and return to normal quicker. Thus, the secretion of oxytocin hormone is increased, which not only induces the production and elimination of milk, but also stimulates uterine contractions, preventing bleeding after birth and contributes to restoring the size of the uterus.

I amuse myself every time I remember the dialogue I had with the nurse at the maternity hospital. I asked her very worried why my stomach twitches sometimes. She then asked me sprightly:- It is the size of a fist and you feel it when you are breastfeeding?
- Exactly.
- It's your uterus which is recovering!

Breastfeeding is benefic to mother's health
In addition, breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, decreasing the risk of heart disease and helping to increase bone density, thereby preventing hip fractures or osteoporosis after menopause.

Besides the physical advantages of breastfeeding you will have a better emotional relationship and a greater bond with your child.

3. Breastfeeding benefits for the whole family and society
Breast milk is free - thus reducing or eliminating the cost of formula (in the thousands of dollars / per year).

Breastfed babies are sick less thus reducing health care costs to family in Doctor office visits, prescriptions, over the counter medicine purchases, and hospitalizations.

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