There are numerous benefits of breastfeeding, for both mother and baby. Breastfeeding your baby is single handedly the most important way you can impact your baby’s health after birth. Think of your breast milk as a perfect mix of all the nutrients and minerals your baby needs – there is no way that formula from a tin can compare. Your breast milk changes as your baby develops, this means that throughout nursing your baby is getting the exactly what it needs for his or her particular stage of growth.
Babies who are breastfed suffer from vomiting and diarrhea less than formula fed babies. There is a reduced risk of constipation, colic and childhood diabetes. Breast milk provides protection against pneumonia, bronchitis, kidney infections, blood poisoning, ear infections and respiratory illnesses. There is a significantly lower risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) with only 3.5% of SIDS related deaths occurring in breastfed babies. In addition, babies who are breastfed are reported to have higher IQs later in life, and breastfeeding is referred to as the fourth trimester in terms of brain development. While there are numerous health benefits in favor of breastfeeding, there is also an emotional and physical component of breastfeeding which is important. Breastfeeding requires a closeness between mother and baby that encourages a strong bond and emotional connection. This is particularly important for mothers who may be suffering from postnatal depression. It is crucial that you find a balanced breastfeeding diet in order to best meet your baby’s needs.