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How Breastfeeding Benefits Both Mom and Baby….

Lisa

When it comes to decisions concerning your little one, having all the necessary information is crucial! Opting for breastfeeding or not is a deeply personal decision. However, being informed about the numerous health advantages associated with breastfeeding for both you and your baby is essential! The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of your baby’s life, continuing alongside solid foods for up to two years. This recommendation stems from the multitude of evidence-based benefits linked with breastfeeding, which include (but are not limited to):

For your baby:

Essential Nutrients

  • Breast milk provides all the necessary nutrition your little one requires for the initial six months of life. Its composition adjusts during the first weeks to ensure optimal nutrient intake. Initially, colostrum, a protein-rich fluid low in sugar, supports your baby’s digestive system development.

Antibodies

  • Breastfeeding facilitates the transfer of crucial antibodies to your baby, bolstering their immune system against viruses and bacteria. Colostrum, present in breast milk, contains high levels of immunoglobulin A, forming a protective layer in your baby’s throat, nose, and digestive system.

Reduced Disease Risk

  • Exclusive breastfeeding has been shown to lower the likelihood of various diseases in babies, including respiratory tract infections, ear infections, allergies like asthma and eczema, diabetes, gastroenteritis, and leukemia. Moreover, breastfeeding is associated with a decreased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Brain Development

  • Studies indicate that breastfed babies tend to have higher average IQs, attributed to breastfeeding’s positive impact on brain development and cognitive functions. Breastfeeding may also reduce the risk of learning difficulties or behavioral issues in babies.

Weight Regulation

  • Breastfeeding supports healthy weight gain in newborns and aids in maintaining a healthy weight. Research suggests that breastfed children are less likely to develop obesity, possibly due to breastfeeding’s influence on digestive system development and gut bacteria, which in turn lowers fat storage. Breastfeeding also increases the level of leptin, a hormone regulating fat storage, in your baby’s system.

For Mum:

Uterus Contraction

  • Breastfeeding stimulates the secretion of oxytocin, aiding in the contraction of the uterus during the postpartum period, thereby facilitating its return to pre-pregnancy size.

Reduced Disease Risk

  • Evidence indicates that breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer in mothers, with the risk decreasing further with prolonged breastfeeding. Additionally, breastfeeding offers protection against heart disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes.

Weight Loss

  • Some women find that breastfeeding assists in postpartum weight loss, likely due to the calories burned during lactation. After three months of breastfeeding, lactating mothers typically experience increased weight loss compared to non-lactating mothers.

Learn More:

Interested in breastfeeding or seeking guidance? Attend our FREE Breastfeeding Preparation Class led by expert Lactation Consultants, tailored for those in their second or third trimester of pregnancy.