- by Dr Varsha Saxena
- 2 Shares
- Dec 27 2017
BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING
Breast milk provides optimal nutrition for babies as it has the right amount of nutrients, is easily digested and readily available.
Let’s understand how breastfeeding offers benefits to the child and the mother.
- A HEALTHY BABY
Babies who are breast fed have lower chances of developing pneumonia, cold and viruses. This is because breast milk is loaded with antibodies that protect the infant from bacteria and virus. Colostrum provides high amounts of immunoglobulin A (IgA), and several other antibodies. Breast milk also lowers the risk of developing chronic conditions such as type I diabetes, celiac disease, SIDS, Crohn's disease, allergies and various other diseases.
- STRONGER BONES
Women who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing osteoporosis post menopause. Lactation makes the bones dense and the body is able to absorb calcium much more efficiently.
- LOWERS THE RISK OF OBESITY & WEIGHT GAIN
Breastfeeding promotes healthy weight gain and keeps obesity at bay. This is because of the development of gut bacteria that affects fat storage. Also, breast fed babies have more leptin that is a key hormone in regulating appetite and fat storage.
- HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT
Breast feeding can burn up to 500 calories a day. Pair it up with a good diet and exercise and you can easily shed the pregnancy weight.
- HELPS IN UTERINE CONTRACTIONS
Post-delivery your uterus returns to its usual size in a process called involution. Oxytocin is the hormone that helps drive this process by allowing for uterine contractions. Studies have shown that mothers who breast feed have lower amounts of blood loss and an increase in the rate of uterine contractions.
- LOWERS THE RISK OF CANCER
Breastfeeding not only decreases the risk of the baby from developing childhood cancers, it also lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in mothers.
- DELAYS MENSTRUATION
Breast feeding delays ovulation and menstruation as it releases prolactin, which keeps estrogen and progesterone at bay so ovulation isn't triggered.
- FULFILS ALL THE NUTRIENT NEEDS
Breast milk contains everything in all the right proportions that the baby needs for the first six months of life. Its composition changes according to the baby's changing needs, especially during the first month of life. Colostrum is the ideal first milk and helps the new-born’s immature digestive tract develop and is generally the most recommended dietary intake for babies.
It goes without saying that breast feeding is free and saves you a lot of time. If you are breastfeeding, you don’t have to spend money on buying formula milk neither will you be wasting your time and effort on preparing the formula and sterilizing bottles.
- BETTER BONDING
Breast feeding helps you cultivate a stronger relationship with your baby. Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of post-partum depression as it encourages caregiving and bonding.
Although breastfeeding has its share of benefits, there are women who can’t breastfeed but it is not a crisis and feeding your baby formula milk is a good alternative.
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