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When it comes to feeding our baby the best that we possibly can, breastfeeding is it. We all know that breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed a baby, but many expecting moms don’t know about all of the natural benefits that come with choosing to breastfeed.
What Are the Advantages of Breastfeeding?
Doctors have shown that there are numerous proven benefits of breastfeeding. And the best part is that there are benefits for both the breastfeeding mother and breastfed baby.
So if you are considering breastfeeding, check out these amazing benefits that come along with making the choice to breastfeed your baby.
*I am not a doctor or a medical professional. These are just my experiences with breastfeeding my baby. This page may contain affiliate links, however, I will never recommend anything that I do not believe in and use myself. You can read more about my disclosure policy here.
BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING FOR BABY
Of course, as a mother, your first concern is your baby. So I will start off with the benefits of breastfeeding for babies.
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1. Breast Milk is the Ideal Nutrition for Baby
Breast milk is the purest and most nutrient-filled food you can give to your new baby on the planet. And what’s even better, is that every mother’s breast milk is specifically designed and formulated for her baby.
Because of this, breastfed babies have less chance of upset stomach and other tummy troubles because breastmilk is made perfectly for your baby’s body to break down.
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2. Breastfeeding Supports Stronger Immune Systems
Through breastfeeding, a mother provides her baby with all of her antibodies to help with empowering the baby’s immune system. This, in turn, helps your baby to fight off or even avoid getting some common viruses that may be going around.
3. Breastfeeding May Reduce Risks of Illnesses
Are breastfed babies sick less?
By receiving the antibodies and other nutrients that are found in breast milk, breastfed babies are often sick much less than formula-fed babies. Some of the common illnesses that breast milk can prevent are:
- Ear Infections
- Respiratory Tract Infections
- gut infections
4. Breastfeeding Promotes Healthy Weight
Breast milk has the perfect fat content which helps to promote healthy weight gain for your baby.
And since breastfed babies can self-regulate their milk intake they don’t usually overeat. This, in turn, helps them to develop healthy eating patterns and avoid childhood obesity later on in life.
5. Breastfeeding Can Reduce Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Sudden infant death syndrome is a serious fear that keeps many parents up at night. But studies have shown that breastfed babies have a much lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
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6. Breastfeeding Helps with Bonding
Bonding with your new baby is extremely important. And although you can certainly bond with your baby if you are formula feeding – I did the first time around, but the bond that comes when you breastfeed your baby is something very different.
Just knowing that you are able to provide the nourishment that your baby needs from your body is an amazing feeling. And the time that you spend breastfeeding your baby really adds up.
I cannot tell you how good I felt every time my son finished breastfeeding and looked up at me with his huge breast milk covered smile.
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BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING FOR MOM
Did you know that breastfeeding can really benefit moms also? It’s really a win-win for both mom and baby.
Do you want to learn more about breastfeeding? Or how to breastfeed your baby successfully. I highly recommend this class taught by a certified lactation consultant that you can take from the comfort of your home.
7. Breastfeeding Supports Faster Recovery After Childbirth
When a mom starts to breastfeed her baby for the first time after giving birth, her body starts to release a natural hormone called Oxytocin. This hormone helps the uterus to contract back to its normal pre-pregnancy size every time you breastfeed your baby.
So by breastfeeding many moms are able to recover after childbirth much faster.
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8. Breastfeeding Helps with Losing Pregnancy Weight
So while breastfeeding can help your baby to gain the proper weight, it can help you to lose that extra pregnancy weight.
This is probably due to the fact that breastfeeding moms burn up to 500 calories per day just from breastfeeding their baby. So in time, many breastfeeding moms are able to lose all of their baby weight just with the help of breastfeeding.
9. Breastfeeding Lowers Risk of Breast and Ovarian Cancer
Not only are there benefits while you are still breastfeeding, but there are also long term effects of breastfeeding on mothers.
Just like breastfeeding can help your baby to avoid certain illnesses, studies have shown that breastfeeding can also help moms to lower their risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
10. Breastfeeding Saves Time
Although you may not think that having to sit down and start breastfeeding your baby saves time, it really does.
Think about it this way. When you are formula feeding your baby, you have to
- get a baby bottle
- mix formula and water
- warm the bottle
- check to see if it’s the right temperature
- bring the bottle back
- feed your baby
- Then after the feeding, you have to wash each bottle.
Now listing everything out sure does sound like a lot of tasks. Especially if you have to prepare bottles in the middle of the night when you are exhausted.
Whereas when you are breastfeeding all you have to do is find a comfy spot, lift your shirt and latch your baby. There are no bottles to clean or anything. And you don’t have to prepare breast milk. Your body has already prepared the breast milk at the perfect temperature and amount for your hungry baby.
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11. Breastfeeding Lowers Risk of Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is real and can happen to moms after giving birth. It’s most commonly due to the hormone changes and also the new responsibilities as a new mom.
But it has been proven that breastfeeding moms have a much lower risk of suffering from postpartum depression. This is thought to be due to the natural hormone – Oxytocin that is released in a mother’s body when breastfeeding.
Oxytocin has many beneficial effects including:
- encouraging bonding
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12. Breastfeeding Saves Money
It’s true that there are huge financial benefits to breastfeeding.
Think about all of the things you won’t have to buy like:
- bottles and nipples
- bottle brushes
- bottle warmer
- bottle drying rack
Breastfeeding really is free and perfect for expecting moms who want to have a baby on a budget.
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13. Breastfeeding Can Delay Menstruation
That time of the month is never fun at all. But after giving birth many moms are able to delay the return of their menstrual cycle by breastfeeding.
This is because breastfeeding signals that body to pause ovulation and therefore menstruation.
And for many moms, their period doesn’t’ show up until they wean from breastfeeding. I was able to avoid seeing my period until 10 months postpartum by breastfeeding my baby.
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14. Breastfeeding Can Work as Natural Birth Control
Many moms are able to use breastfeeding as a natural form of birth control. This is because breastfeeding can delay ovulation and therefore prevent pregnancy.
Of course, it is not always bulletproof for everyone, but it certainly couldn’t hurt, right?
So does breastfeeding have advantages? I say definitely. I was able to see many of these benefits when I was breastfeeding my baby. What are your favorite benefits of breastfeeding?