The breatfeeding experts that are the fantastic team at Lansinoh have put together this piece to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding for both Mother and Baby. If you are considering breastfeeding or or are just wanting to learn more, have a read.
Saved article for later
Studies have shown that the health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child are extensive, and include immediate, longer term and psychological benefits. It also helps to establish a close bond with your baby.
Benefits to Mum Not only is breastfeeding free, but breastmilk is ready on demand at just the right temperature, without the need to sterilise bottles or carry around a bag of bottles when you’re out and about. And then there are the health benefits of breastfeeding for mother, too!
Studies have shown that benefits of breastfeeding for mothers include: • A lower risk of ovarian and uterine cancer • A lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer • Increase in bone strength, resulting in fewer fractures and reduced risk of osteoporosis in later life • A decrease in the risk of Type II diabetes in the long term Recent studies also suggest that, due to increased oxytocin hormone levels, breastfeeding can benefit the mental health of mothers.
Breastfeeding enhances skin to skin interaction between the mother and baby decreasing maternal anxiety and promoting bonding. You can breastfeed and lose weight at the same time if you do it sensibly. Gradual weight loss through healthy, low-fat eating and moderate exercise is important. Losing weight too quickly releases the toxins (PCBs and pesticides) that are stored in your body fat into your bloodstream. This, in turn, increases the amount in your milk supply. Don't think you have to wean your baby in order to lose weight. In fact, breastfeeding makes it easier to lose the excess weight because your body uses the stored energy in fat to make milk. You'll lose weight naturally if you're nursing around the clock and eating a balanced diet. Choosing whole foods, eating slowly so you'll know when you're full, drinking when you're thirsty, and getting some exercise (walking with your baby in a sling is great!) all help with weight loss.
Benefits to baby There are both short and long term benefits of breastfeeding for your baby for the recommended time of six months exclusively, and thereafter together with solid foods for as long as you and your baby wish.
Immediate benefits to your baby include; If you have a family history of diabetes or allergies, your baby is less likely to develop these if they have breastfed. In addition, further benefits of breastfeeding baby are that they are less likely to:
• be constipated, as their stools are softer, or to suffer with diarrhoea • have trapped wind gas problems or vomit after feeding • suffer urinary tract infections • suffer ear infections • be admitted to hospital with gastroenteritis and respiratory infections
Breastmilk contains vital substances to help the development of your baby’s brain, retina and central nervous system, as well as growth factors and hormones.
Longer term benefits to your baby also include;
• less likelihood of chest infections until the age of 7 • be less likely to develop eczema and asthma • a lower risk of becoming obese and suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and tooth decay in later life • be more likely to achieve higher scores in intelligence tests