Why Is Breastfeeding Good For You and Your Baby?
Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to keep your baby healthy. Increasing its prevalence on a global scale would save the lives of 820,000 children a year, which is a very compelling argument.
How Is It Good for Baby
Mother’s milk not only nourishes but also protects the baby. It contains valuable ingredients, including stem cells, white blood cells, and other bioactive elements that help fight infection, prevent disease and contribute to normal development.
Children who are breastfed for the first half of the year are less likely to face diarrhea, gastritis, colds, flu, otitis and bronchitis, and yeast infection. Of course, babies who are breastfed also get sick. However, breastfeeding a sick child has additional benefits.
When the infant or mother is sick, the number of protective ingredients in the milk increases. Babies who are breastfed often recover faster than those who are given formula, because the mother’s body produces antibodies to fight the specific infection. In addition, compared to formula-fed infants, the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (Cot Death) is 50% lower.
Giving breast milk to infants born prematurely gives them the most effective protection against life-threatening conditions such as sepsis, chronic lung disease, or necrotizing enterocolitis.
There is an opinion that formula-fed kids sleep longer. However, this is a myth. Studies show that babies wake up at night regardless of how they feed. However, infants who are breastfed often fall back asleep faster.
The oxytocin that appears in the baby’s body during the process of breastfeeding makes him feel sleepy. Besides, this helps the baby to develop a healthy circadian rhythm (the cycle of falling asleep and waking up).
How Is It Good for Mother
Oxytocin has an antidepressant effect. Women with higher levels of this hormone have fewer symptoms of anxiety disorders and depression. As long as you are breastfeeding, oxytocin will have a calming effect on you, reduce stress and blood pressure, and increase your resistance to pain.
The longer you breastfeed, the more your health will benefit. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Each subsequent month of breastfeeding also reduces the likelihood of developing cancer, including breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers.
While breastfeeding can be exhausting in the first few weeks, once you get into practice, you’ll appreciate its practicalities. You can feed your baby at any time with minimal effort. You won’t have to cook, stir, chill, or disinfect anything.
When you leave the house, you won’t have to remember to pack any feeding accessories, which is very useful when you are already loaded with nappies, clothes, wipes, and other essentials.
Breastfeeding inhibits ovulation, thus causing menstruation to stop, which is a huge advantage for many mothers. In addition, it also means that exclusive breastfeeding (without supplementing your baby’s diet with other foods) is an excellent method of contraception — its effectiveness is around 98%.
Breastfeeding mothers often sleep longer than those using even the best baby bottles to feed the baby with formula. One study found a difference of 40 to 45 minutes each night. In the long term, these are many valuable hours that can make a big difference to your well-being.
The economic benefits of breastfeeding are also worth considering. If you don’t supplement your baby’s diet with other foods, you don’t have to spend money on formula. Over the months, this translates into significant sums. In the United States, families save as much as $1,200 – $1,500 in the first year. This also helps you avoid problems related to the availability of baby formulas in stores.