Are you welcoming a new baby into your family? If yes, here are some pearls of wisdom you should take very seriously. You should exclusively breastfeed your baby for the initial six months after birth. Breast milk has all the nutrients your baby needs, but there are more benefits of breastfeeding, besides meeting the nutritional needs of your baby. Breastfeeding is beneficial for you as well.
1. Protects Your Baby from Illnesses
Studies have proven lower respiratory illnesses, stomach viruses, meningitis and ear infections occur less frequently among babies that are breastfed and if they do occur, these illnesses are not as severe. As a mother of a newborn baby, you should be looking to breastfeed your baby exclusively on breast milk for at least six months. This will protect your baby from a long list of illnesses.
Colostrum, the first milk that the breasts produce, contains a substance called immunoglobulin A. This substance forms a layer on the mucus membrane of the baby’s throat, nose and intestine, thereby preventing pathogens from gaining entry. Furthermore, since your body reacts to pathogens, your breast milk contains immunoglobulin A that has the ability to fight those pathogens. As a result, your baby is protected against those same pathogens.
2. Offering Protection against Allergies
Babies who are fed formula derived from cow’s milk often have more allergies compared to babies who are breastfed. Again, researchers believe the immunoglobulin A present in breast milk protects your baby from experiencing allergic reactions, as it forms a protective coating along the intestines. Without this coating, the intestines can get inflamed. The coating also allows the undigested proteins to move through the digestive tract without causing any allergic reaction.
3. Boosting Intelligence
There is a strong link between cognitive development and breastfeeding. Through various researches it has been found in infants that are breastfed tend to have high IQ compared to kids that are not breastfed. Even pre-term babies with very low birth weight show improved mental development after being given breast milk right after birth.
It is believed the fatty acids naturally present in breast milk have a role to play in boosting intelligence amongst breastfed babies.
4. Protecting Against Obesity
It is possible that breastfeeding may prevent your baby from getting obese or overweight. At least that is what the American Academy of Pediatrics advises new mothers. Researchers have found babies that are exclusively breastfed have a lower tendency to turn obese or overweight. They feel this could be because such babies have their hunger satiated and as a result, they develop healthy eating patterns and habits when they grow up. Furthermore, breast milk contains less insulin compared to formula. Insulin is responsible for the creation of fat in the body.
5. Helping Mothers Lose Pregnancy Weight
Do detest looking at yourself in the mirror? Do not worry. There is an easy way to lose all that pregnancy weight quickly. Just breastfeed your baby. Breastfeeding helps to burn a lot of calories and this, in turn, causes you to lose all that pregnancy weight quickly and effortlessly.
6. Reducing Uterus Size
After childbirth, you can return your uterus size to the pre-pregnancy size. When you breastfeed your baby, your body secretes a hormone known as oxytocin. It is this hormone that helps your uterus shrink to its original size. Oxytocin also reduces the amount of bleeding that occurs after childbirth.
7. Other Benefits for the Mother
Researchers have found women who breastfeed have a lower tendency to develop ovarian and breast cancers. Furthermore, breastfeeding also reduces your risk of developing osteoporosis.
However, the most important benefit of breastfeeding is being able to spend time with your little one in complete peace and harmony. During this period, you can bond with your new baby.