Top 10 reasons to breastfeed!
The benefits of breastfeeding are well known. It’s the perfect infant nutrition, enhances your baby’s cognitive development, and so on. But did you know that breastfeeding has a whole host of benefits for mummy dearest too? We have listed the top 10 reasons why you should breastfeed!
1. It releases bonding hormones.
Breastfeeding releases the “bonding hormone” oxytocin. This is the same hormone that gets released when you hug or kiss a loved one, oxytocin provides a feeling of closeness between you and baby while it moves milk toward the front of your breasts this process is known as letdown.
2. Convenient and Portable
Breast milk is always safe, fresh and exactly the right temperature. It’s ready for baby at a moment’s notice, and you don’t have to heat it, boil water, or sterilize bottles. This makes night time feedings a lot easier.
Since breast milk is always with you, travelling and shopping with your baby is simpler, with no equipment to carry or refrigeration needed.
3. Nutrients and Protection
Breast milk is the best food to help your baby to grow and develop. It is custom-made by each mother for her own baby, and has the perfect amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins and minerals. Especially, as your baby grows, your milk will also change to keep up with your baby’s needs. Human milk is also easier than formula for your baby to digest, which means less mess and fuss!
Breast milk contains valuable antibodies that help prevent disease and may reduce the risk of your baby developing allergies. After birth, your first milk, called Colostrum, offers vital early protection and helps to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria by coating your baby’s digestive system. This early protection is even more important if your baby is born prematurely so definteley Colostrum protects!
4. Good for Environment
Breastfeeding is good for your baby, for you and the environment! Human milk is produced and delivered to your baby without any pollution, unnecessary packaging or waste.
5. Benefits Don’t Stop
Research shows that breast milk is so important that it is the only food or drink your baby needs for the first 6 months of life. Beginning at 6 months of age babies need a variety of foods in addition to breast milk, which continues to provide nutrition and protection. Many mothers continue to breastfeed until their babies are two years old or more, as recommended by Health Canada who says any amount of breastmilk is always good for babies.
6. It may lower the risk of childhood cancers…
On top of giving baby a healthy start with your breast milk’s antibodies, which help protect baby from the cold and flu, breastfeeding may even boost his ability to fight off more serious stuff. A study published in the Journal of Human Lactation found high levels of the cancer-fighting TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) in human milk. This means better protection against illnesses like lymphoblastic leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease.
7. …and breast cancer in moms!
Moms who breastfed were 1.5 times less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than those who didn’t in a study from Columbia University. And the more children they breastfed, the lower their risk became. According to the National Cancer Institute, breastfeeding is associated with decreased risk of ovarian cancer too.
8. It may boost baby’s brainpower
Add breastfeeding to the list of ways to get an edge on the SATs. A study published in JAMA Psychiatry followed nearly 14,000 children over the course of six-and-a-half years, and the kids who were exclusively breastfed had a significantly higher average IQ test score than those who weren’t. Another advantage is that on average, they received higher ratings from their teachers.
9. Works for Working Mothers
Your baby can have all the benefits of your milk even if you plan to go back to work or school. You can express milk by hand or with a breast pump and leave it with your caregiver to feed the baby. Breast milk can also be frozen for future use. Some mothers have childcare facilities at their place of work, school, or nearby, so they can breastfeed during their breaks.
10. You may fit into your skinny jeans faster!
Breastfeeding burns an average of 500 calories a day. And while not every nursing mom drops back into their pre-pregnancy weight in a flash, plenty give breastfeeding props for helping them lose some of the pounds.
We hope this information was useful for you! Not sure how to breastfeed? Find out breastfeeding guidelines here.