National Breastfeeding Month: 5 Benefits of Breastfeeding
After giving birth, feeding is one of the first opportunities you have to bond with your baby. While it’s always important to note that “fed is best,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend breastfeeding over formula feeding when possible for its many health advantages. Celebrate National Breastfeeding Month with these 5 benefits of breastfeeding.
Good Source of Nutrition
Breast milk is a complete source of nutrition for the first months of a child’s life, and continues to be a great source of nutrients for the first two years of life. The WHO recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months and then adding supplementary foods to your child’s diet. Only 41% of children under 6 months are exclusively breastfed.
Good Source of Antibodies
Children under 6 months are too young to receive vaccines, so breast milk may be the only way they get antibodies without contracting an illness. These antibodies help jumpstart your baby’s immune system, and the WHO estimates over 800,000 children could be saved from childhood diseases if all children under the age of 2 were optimally breastfed.
Protection Against Disease
Children who are breastfed are better protected against long-term diseases and health problems like asthma, diabetes, and obesity. They also experience short-term benefits, such as lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and fewer ear and gastrointestinal infections. The risk of dying from diarrhea and malnutrition increases for children who are not exclusively breastfed.
Health Benefits for Mothers
Babies aren’t the only ones to benefit from breastfeeding. Mothers who breastfed their children had a lower risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Breastfeeding also helps mothers heal after birth and better space out pregnancies due to lactation amenorrhea, a hormonal effect that disrupts menstrual cycles.
No Extra Materials Required
While formula feeding requires bottles and other equipment, breastfeeding can be done at any time in any place. It’s also a potential source of comfort for babies whose routine is disrupted by travelling or a life change.
At Midwest Express Clinic, we offer affordable, high-quality care for both you and your baby. Contact us or walk-in to one of our locations near you.