There are many benefits of breastfeeding, which is why there has been a great increase in the number of breastfeeding moms in recent years. Check out some these breastfeeding benefits to mom and baby:
- The colostrum or “first milk” for the baby is very important for health and immune development. Colostrum is produced in the first few days after giving birth and is more condense and thicker than regular breast milk. The baby gets a lot of nutrients, vitamins and the benefit of your immune system in colostrum. Because of all the benefits of colostrum it is now available to adults in pill form in some health food stores. It is very beneficial for health.
- Breastfeeding is better overall for the health of mommy and baby. The baby continues to get nutrients and vitamins that mom takes in everyday, and is able to work up immunities to allergies through mom’s milk. As for mom, her body will go back to normal faster after childbirth by simply breastfeeding. It is a natural process that that helps mom and baby ease into natural health and well being.
- In the mother, the uterus goes back to normal faster, shrinking back to its pre-pregnancy size. Because it goes so much faster there will be some cramping, usually felt during nursing sessions but it is very mild usually helpful in bringing your uterus back to its pre-pregnancy state..
- Many moms lose baby weight faster when they breastfeed. After having baby and by breastfeeding, you will burn more calories everyday to keep up with the baby’s diet. You are feeding someone else and maintaining your own body systems so this means the extra calories you burn will help you lose the weight you gained during pregnancy faster than if you were bottle feeding.
- Babies often thrive when fed breastmilk. Formula has synthetic vitamins and minerals, made in labs, and they aren’t as healthy as the ones that come from mom. Nothing can replace breast milk, it is naturally one of the most healthy things we can ingest.
- Babies also use breastmilk to develop an immune system in early weeks. During the first few months and weeks of baby’s life he or she has no immune system of their own. By breastfeeding they are still using mom’s until they are able to build one of their own. This means less colds, less infections and overall a healthier beginning to life.
- Breastfeeding has also been linked to a lower incidence of SIDS. Although scientists aren’t quite sure why, studies show that babies who are breastfed have a lower chance of dying from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Some have theories as to why this is but the numbers show breastfeeding may very well offer protection against this mysterious phenomena.
- A great bonding experience between mom and baby can be yet another large benefit. Because mom is the only one able to feed the baby for the first few weeks at least of life they have more time to bond. The baby’s eyes can only focus so far from their face, about 8-10 inches, which just happens to be how far from mom’s face they are when breastfeeding. The eye contact, skin to skin contact, and early interaction provide a wonderful bonding experience.
The saying “breast is best” is still alive after all this time. If you have to formula feed, don’t feel guilty, but if you can breastfeed, even some, it will be completely worthwhile for you and your baby.
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I’m an inclusive, not scary, totally normal yet heavily qualified yoga instructor and founder of YogaBellies® and the Birth ROCKS Method. I’m trained in self hypnosis and meditation and what I love is helping women (ALL women) enjoy yoga without having to whisper all the time and wear fancy activewear that cost a month’s rent.
I believe Yoga is for everyone.
It is great that you support breastfeeding in this article however breastfeeding is for children, not just babies. WHO recommends breastfeeding for a minimum of 2 years and beyond. It would be wonderful to see a change of vocab or addition of the word ‘child’ and a mention of the benefits in toddlerhood. Breastmilk continues to change as the child ages to suit their changing needs. Breastfeeding past babyhood is normal but not always treated as such in our culture. The more support and normalisation the better!