Breastfeeding offers a wide array of physical and mental health benefits for mother and child. Read through these top reasons to give a baby breast milk.
The experts have talked about it: breastfeeding is good for the baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization have advised mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies for six months before introducing them to solid food. In some countries, hospitals encourage breastfeeding by offering new moms free milk storage units and even certified lactation counselors.
Many families think of breastfeeding as a wonderful bonding experience for mommy and baby. Here are some of the top reasons to give a baby breast milk—and you’ll see that it offers more than you may think.
Breast Milk Contains Essential Nutrients
Breastfeeding offers impressive health benefits for both mother and baby. Breast milk contains natural antibodies that boost the child’s immune system, helping him fight off infections. Some essential nutrients found in breast milk are proteins, minerals, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins A and E—all helping to make your baby’s body stronger.
Colostrum, the initial milk that your body produces after giving birth, helps protect the baby against diseases. This milk supports the digestive system and acts as a laxative to expel meconium—the baby’s first stool. Colostrum has many other benefits for babies, such as jump-starting their immune systems.
Breast Milk Is Custom-Made for Your Baby
During the first few days, you may notice that your breast milk supply isn’t as stable and plentiful as you’d expect it to be. Your breast milk adjusts its supply according to the baby’s needs, which is one of the top reasons to give a baby breast milk. Receiving appropriate amounts of food makes breastfeeding a better choice for mothers and children alike.
As your baby’s demands grow, so will your supply. At this point, you want to make sure that you eat a healthy diet to help boost your breast milk supply, along with proper supplementation and possibly some help from a breastfeeding counselor. As you go on with your breastfeeding journey, your body becomes accustomed to the baby’s routine and adjusts accordingly.
Prevents Digestive Issues
Another reason why breastfeeding is good for your baby is the ease of digestion. Breast milk has the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein that your baby can easily digest. In fact, breast milk is easier to digest than other types of milk. This makes an excellent alternative for infants recovering from malnutrition and gastrointestinal problems.
Breastfeeding Protects Against SIDS
In line with its health benefits, one of the top reasons to give a baby breast milk is its protection against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breast milk contains serotonin, which can help the baby’s lungs mature faster. Breastfeeding can have a protective effect on infants, lowering their risk of contracting diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
Breastfeeding is the simplest and purest form of love a mother can give her child. There are a lot of reasons to give your baby breast milk. For the best results, you may want to consult with health care professionals about the proper lactation management and dietary changes needed to ensure successful breastfeeding.