The benefits for your baby
Breastfeeding is considered the healthiest option for your baby. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Breast milk contains antibodies not present in formula milk that help your baby’s immune system fight infections. These help to protect your baby from illnesses such as stomach upsets and ear infections.
- Breast milk is easy for your baby to digest and the vitamins and minerals are more easily absorbed by baby’s body. This is also why a breastfed baby is less likely than a bottle-fed baby to ‘sick up’ milk, technically known as possetting.
- Breast milk contains special types of fats important for the development of your baby’s brain, eyes and nervous system. Adults and children make their own fats from the food they eat, but in the first six months, your baby is reliant on your breast milk to get them.
- Breastfeeding reduces the likelihood of your baby suffering from allergies because it does not contain the cows’ milk protein that is usually responsible for triggering them.
- Research shows that colic and excessive crying is less likely in breastfed babies. This could be because breastfed babies take in less air when they feed.
The benefits for you
Breastfeeding is also good for you. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Breastfeeding can help protect you from breast cancers. You are also less likely to suffer from osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become weaker.
- The hormones released when you first breastfeed help your uterus contract and shrink back to its normal size. The hormones may also help you recover from the birth more quickly, too.
- Your periods are likely to be delayed for as long as you are breastfeeding.
- The hormone oxytocin that is released during breastfeeding helps you fell telexed and maternal.
- The closeness of breastfeeding may help you bond with your baby more quickly.
- Breastfeeding is the simplest way to feed – there’s no need for any equipment or sterilizing – and it’s free!