5 Important Benefits of Breastfeeding

When it comes to the health of your baby, breast milk really is the best option out there. Not only does breast milk supply your baby with important nutrients and immunities, but it also plays an essential role in establishing the early bond between you and your little one. However, if you are unable to breastfeed for any reason, do not feel discouraged! There are several ways to safely supplement with breast milk and get all of the same benefits of breastfeeding as if you were nursing directly from your body. Some of benefits of breastfeeding are as follows

1. Stronger immune system

Your baby is exposed to what you eat, so breast milk includes antibodies that help keep your baby healthy. Newborns have immature immune systems, so breastfeeding helps protect them from illness. A 2015 study found that children who were breastfed had fewer bouts of colds and ear infections during their first year than kids who weren’t breastfed.

The longer a child was breastfed, researchers found, the lower his or her risk for respiratory infections became. Stronger bones: Research shows that babies who are exclusively breastfed for at least six months may be less likely to develop rickets (which causes weak bones) later in life.

2. Breast Feeding decreased risk of disease

According to a study published in Pediatrics, infants who were breastfed for at least one month were less likely to develop eczema, ear infections and diarrhea, and also had lower rates of respiratory tract infections (RTIs), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and obesity. Breastfeeding is known to boost immunity by exposing babies to their mother’s antibodies through her milk.

This can help them resist common illnesses. A study published in Paediatrics found that breastfeeding for just two months reduced an infant’s risk of developing asthma by 25 percent compared with not being breastfed. Another benefit: The more you breastfeed, the better your baby will do as he or she grows up. A 2008 meta-analysis found that breastfeeding was associated with higher intelligence quotient (IQ) scores among children later on in life.

3. Better oral health

Benefits of Breastfeeding
Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfed infants are less likely to develop cavities. Even one bottle with formula (versus breast milk) may raise your child’s risk for cavities by more than 10 percent. This can be chalked up to baby’s exposure to sugars and bacteria in your diet, which can be passed on through breast milk—even if you’re following an otherwise healthy diet.

And as your baby grows, it’s even more important to help keep those pearly whites clean. After all, tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases. But don’t fret: Experts say that there are plenty of things you can do to minimize your little one’s risk for tooth decay. In fact, a recent study found that breastfeeding is linked to lower rates of dental caries (or cavities).

4. Lower risk of obesity

Research has shown that children who are breastfed for at least four months have lower BMIs, higher intakes of vitamins and minerals, and fewer incidences of diarrhea. This may be because breast milk contains high amounts of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin E, which plays a role in preventing cellular damage caused by oxidative stress. The more time your child spends drinking breast milk in his or her first few years, researchers say, the lower his or her risk is for obesity.

In fact, one study found that breastfeeding for 12 months or longer reduced an infant’s chance of becoming obese as an adult by 20 percent. And it seems to make no difference whether babies were breastfed exclusively (meaning they got no other liquids besides breast milk) or not—the results were still significant.

5. Decreased risk of allergies

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for at least four months and then adding solid foods while continuing to breastfeed for up to one year or longer as mother and baby desire. The AAP cites numerous studies showing that infants who are exclusively breastfed have a lower risk of developing allergies (and subsequent allergic reactions), asthma, diabetes, ear infections, SIDS and more.

In fact, an infant’s first year of life is often referred to as the fourth trimester because it mimics so closely what he experienced in utero—including his exposure to various proteins and other elements. It’s important for babies to continue being exposed to these natural substances through breastfeeding after birth; if they aren’t, their immune systems may become confused about how best to react when encountering these substances later on in life.

Also read:- Benefits of Breastfeeding https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/nursing-basics

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