Benefits of Breastfeeding For Both Mom and Baby

The Goodness of Breast Milk

For some, breastfeeding is often tiring, frustrating but yet, also rewarding. It may be tough but the rewards are well worth it!

Breast milk is the best for your baby. Breast milk contains all the nutrients and vitamins your baby needs for his first six months of his life.

For maximum benefits, breastfeeding should be initiated soon after the birth of your child and should be maintained exclusively for six months, until weaning is initiated.

For the first 2-4 days of your baby’s life, your breasts will secrete colostrum. This special milk or ‘first milk’ is yellow to orange in colour. It is also thick and sticky and it is low in fat but high in carbohydrates, protein and antibodies.

The protein is easily digested and absorbed by the body, especially by the rapidly developing brain. Colostrum provides factors that promote maturation of the gut and good digestion. It is thought to be the perfect first food for your baby.

The volume is extreme low but that’s fine because a newborn’s stomach is only the size of a cherry. Mature milk will be produced around the fourth or fifth day after birth and will increase in volume.

Breast milk contains both saturated and unsaturated fats, as well as cholesterol, an important constituent of brain and nerve tissue. It’s also contains a full range of vitamins and minerals in an easily digestible combination.

Special immune system protective proteins are present in breast milk. These proteins offer protection against diarrhea, food allergies and infections.

The immunoprotective components of breast milk include:

1) Lactoferrin : binds to iron, thus rendering it unavailable to viruses and bacteria

2) Lysozymes and milk leucocytes : destroy viruses and bacteria

3) Secretory IgA : immunoglobulin guards against invading germs by forming a protective layer on the mucous membranes in baby’s intestine, nose and throat

4) Bifidus factor : promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and limits the growth of disease-causing bacteria

Benefits of breastfeeding for baby

  • Stronger immune systems

  • Less diarrhea, constipation, gastroenteritis, gastroesophageal reflux, and preterm necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)

  • Fewer colds and respiratory illnesses like pneumonia, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and whooping cough

  • Fewer ear infections, especially those that damage hearing

  • Fewer case of bacteria meningitis

  • Better vision and less retinopathy of prematurity

  • Lower rates of infant mortality

  • Lower rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

  • Less illness overall and less hospitalization

  • Fewer instances of allergies, eczema, and asthma

  • Fewer childhood cancers, including leukemia and lymphomas

  • Lower risk of type I and II diabetes

  • Fewer instances of Crohn’s disease and colitis

  • Fewer speech and orthodontic problems

  • Fewer cavities

  • Promotes the proper development of baby’s jaw and teeth

  • Less likely to become obese later in childhood

  • Improved brain maturation

  • Breastfed infants tend to have higher IQ due to good brain development early in life

  • Promotes mother-baby bonding

Benefits of breastfeeding for mother

  • The baby sucking causes a mother’s uterus to contract and reduces the flow of blood after delivery

  • During lactation, menstruation ceases, offering a form of contraception

  • Tend to lose weight and achieve pre-pregnancy figure more easily

  • Less likely to develop breast cancer later in life

  • Fewer urinary tract infections

  • Less chance of anemia

  • Lower the risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis

  • Hormones released during breastfeeding create feeling of warmth and calm in the mother

My breastfeeding journey is a well worth rewarding journey. I managed to breastfeed my first child and she was exclusively on breast milk for 12 months.

Currently, I am still breastfeeding my second child who is 34mo. My two children are healthy and tend to have less illness like cold, fever, cough. If they did, they will recover very fast.

New mommies are recommended to breastfeed for the first six months as this will benefit your child greatlybut for those who may be able to do it for six months, know that any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial, so try your best!

References:

Cleveland Clinic – The Benefits of Breastfeeding For Baby and for Mom

Australian Unity –┬áBreast is best: advantages of breastfeeding

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By | 2018-01-28T15:48:58+08:00 October 1st, 2017|Breastfeeding|0 Comments

About the Author:

I am a full time mommy with two lovely girls. Me and my husband are also a successful online home business owner. We run our business in the health and wellness industry.

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