Breastfeeding Benefits

With health benefits for both Mother and child, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that breast milk has the perfect balance of nutrition for your baby and it cannot be replicated with any sort of formula. They recommend breastfeeding your child for at least and exclusively the first six months and to continue for twelve months or more.

Breast milk is widely acknowledged as the most complete form of nutrition for infants, with a range of benefits for infants' health, growth, immunity and development. -- Healthy People 2010, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

Breastfeeding Prevents Diabetes and Other Diseases

One benefit of breastfeeding is the prevention of Type I Diabetes. The early introduction of other foods and especially cow's milk to a child's diet is thought to be responsible for autoimmune attacks that lead to Type I Diabetes, celiac disease and many allergies. Children who are breast fed are more likely to develop a strong immune system that resists autoimmune diseases. In less developed nations breastfeeding can substantially prevent infant mortality.

For the child, breastfeeding can reduce the development of early childhood infections including:

  • allergies,
  • ear infections,
  • diarrhea,
  • dental cavities,
  • respiratory diseases.

Breastfed children also reap health benefits later in life. They are less likely to develop the following diseases:

  • obesity
  • heart diseases
  • cancer

Finally, breastfed children less likely to experience learning disabilities, psychological problems and there is an increase in their cognitive skills (aspects of their brain functions), emotional maturity and personal confidence.

Breastfeeding Reduces the Risk of SIDS

Studies in a variety of countries from Germany (Mar 2009) to New Zealand (1993) conclude that the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) can be reduced by as much as 50% with breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding Benefits for the Mother

Mothers benefit from breastfeeding too and in the following ways:

  • More likely to lose weight gained during pregnancy.
  • Get increased protection against cancers including breast, ovarine and uterine cancers.
  • Less likely to develop osteoporosis later in life.
  • Less likely to get pregnant while breastfeeding (more effective than condoms or diaphram).

Finally, Mothers who breastfeed experience a stronger bond with their children and are less likely to feel anxious about Motherhood. Breastfeeding is said to set health and pyschological foundations for the long term future of both Mother and child.

Read a review of the best breastfeeding pads.

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