8 Benefits of Breastfeeding

benefits of breastfeeding

A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three. ~ GrantlyDick-Read (Tweet this)

Mother Nature knows best, that is a belief that I choose to follow.  I don’t really need studies to prove that mother’s milk is the best choice as a baby’s first source of nutrition.  It is also true that in many cases, willing mothers have complications and end up having to give their babies formula. For them, formula can be a life-saver.

We are lucky to have the technology and advancement to be able to create alternatives we did not have in the past.  After all, the most important thing is for both mother and baby to be healthy.

Unfortunately, sometimes in modern society we stray too far from nature and its wisdom, and misinformation and lack of support have drastically reduced the amount of babies receiving this amazing food. In many cases, moms are even led to believe that formula is superior and that if there are problems initiating breastfeeding, then the benefits of breastfeeding are not worth the trouble.

If you are blessed with the opportunity to be able to breastfeed your baby, even if you have to initially put some work and effort into doing so, rest assured that you will be choosing the best option for your baby. The benefits of breastfeeding extend far beyond nutrition and the beginning years. And if you need hard proof that “Breast is Best” here you have an impressive list of the many reasons why.

1. Health benefits of breastfeeding for the Baby

  • Breast milk is “tailor-made” by the mother’s body to fulfill the needs of a particular baby. As these needs change with age, so does the content of the milk.
  • There are antibodies that will develop as needed.  Research has shown that breast milk reduces the risk of ear infections, digestive trouble, childhood obesity, leukemia, asthma, lower respiratory infections, and even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) among many others. (a)

(a) From the Baby Center

2. Health benefits of breastfeeding for the Mother

  • If you need extra incentive you will be happy to know that mothers that breast feed are reducing their risk towards; type 2 diabetes, certain types of breast cancers, osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, and heart disease.(b)
  • At the same time, the act of breast feeding helps regulate the hormones in the new mom’s body and reduces stress and postpartum depression.
  •  Another advantage that most women would not shrug off is that pre-pregnancy shape and weight can be achieved faster.

(b) From Web MD

3. Promotes bonding

  • For a newborn, the world outside of the womb is very different and overwhelming. The closeness to the mother’s warm body is very reassuring to the baby and it will benefit the bond between the two.
  • The act of breastfeeding releases “happiness” hormones in both parties and encourages mothering behaviors that are extremely beneficial to the relationship.

4. It saves money

  • To the parents, for whom there is no need to buy formula, bottles, warmers, etc.
  •  Also to society in general.  In United States for example, yearly medical care expenses are higher on infants that are never breastfed than on those that are exclusively breastfed.(c)

(c) From Women’s Health

5. It is more practical

  • When you breastfeed you have your baby’s food readily available and at the perfect temperature no matter where you are.
  • You don’t need to worry about carrying all the containers and bottles needed to prepare formula, or do cleaning and sanitizing of all of it afterwards, which can be very inconvenient if you are on the go.

6. It is safer

  • Breast milk produced by a healthy mother is free of contaminants. Because a breastfed newborn does not even need to drink water for hydration, there are fewer risks of ingesting pathogens from contaminated water. This is of special concern in countries were the water supply if far from ideal or in case of emergencies such as natural disasters.
  • The same way, breast milk is naturally warm and will help regulate the internal temperature of the baby to keep him healthy despite external conditions.

7. It can improve your baby’s IQ

  • There have been several studies that support that breastfed babies have some advantages when it comes to scoring higher in IQ tests.(d)

The reasons behind this can vary but is not difficult to understand that; a baby that has a higher quality of nutrition will also have a better chance of developing a healthy brain and a stronger immune system, thus fomenting learning.

(d) From Time’s magazine

8. Is better for the environment

  • Very simply put, when a mother is able to breastfeed the baby, there are no packages to open, no bottles to be used, so there is less waste and less pollution needed for plastic productions.
  • No water or energy needed to sanitize bottles or to prepare formula.

Breast-milk is nature’s most perfect baby food. When given the choice a healthy mother should be encouraged to pick it above formula. It does not only benefit the baby but also the mother, the environment and the community in general. Mothers have the last word on what they choose to feed their babies but it is very important that they are well-informed and understand their options.

If you enjoyed this information please share it. Sometimes knowledge can be the best of gifts!


About the Author

Yaiza is a published author with a background in psychology and behavior. She has been an ecological educator for Zoos and aquariums, and has been and continues to be involved in several charitable projects and organizations. Her goal is to be active on building a better life for the present and a better world for generations to come.

Leave a Reply