Choosing whether to breastfeed or formula feeds their baby is one of the biggest decisions expectant and new parents will make.
A number of health organisations —especially World Health Organization (WHO) — strongly recommend breastfeeding as the best choice for babies. Babies should be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months. Beyond that, breastfeeding is encouraged until at least 12 months, and longer if both the mother and baby are willing.
Although experts believe breast milk is the best nutritional choice for infants, breastfeeding may not be possible for all women. For many, the decision to breastfeed or formula feed is based on their comfort level, lifestyle, and specific medical situations.
These are some 10 reasons why you should consider exclusive breastfeeding for your baby.
- Breastfeeding promotes bonding between mother and baby.
- Breast milk contains immunities to diseases and aids in the development of baby's immune system.
- Breast milk is more digestible than formula
- Breast milk provides perfect infant nutrition
- Breastfeeding is a natural contraceptive
- Breast milk is free
- Breast milk always has the right proportions of fat, carbohydrates and protein.
- Breastfeeding helps defend against infections, prevent allergies, and protect against a number of chronic conditions.
- Breast milk also naturally contains many of the vitamins and minerals that a newborn requires
- Some studies suggest that children who were exclusively breastfed have slightly higher IQs than children who were formula-fed.