We won’t sugarcoat it: breastfeeding is not always as easy as it looks. While it is a breeze for some moms, it can be a difficult and frustrating venture for others. Breastfeeding moms deserve lots of support and appreciation! It is often an act of love, which they undertake because breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. The health rewards for both mom and baby are numerous! Today, we are highlighting several of our favorite health benefits for babies.
- Customized nourishment. The most fascinating fact about breastfeeding is that the breastmilk’s composition changes as the baby grows! The contents of the milk adapt to the baby’s changing nutritional needs. Breastmilk has the perfect combination of fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates needed for baby’s growth and development.
- Easy digestion. The proteins in breastmilk are easier to digest than those in formula.
- SIDS prevention. Breastfed infants have a lower risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) compared to babies who were never breastfed. Some studies show that even breastfeeding for 2-4 months can lower the risk.
- Protection against illness and disease. Breastmilk carries the mom’s antibodies to the baby. These antibodies help the baby develop a hearty immune system that protects against many short- and long-term illnesses and diseases. Breastfeed infants have a lower risk of:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Severe lower respiratory disease
- Acute otitis media (ear infections)
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Gastrointestinal infections (diarrhea/vomiting)
- Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) (for preterm infants)
Sources: Association of Health Care Journalists, American Academy of Pediatrics, The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, The Mayo Clinic
Expectant moms who are interested in learning more about breastfeeding can register for a class with our internationally board certified lactation counselor, Libbie Stroud, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org