20 June 2011

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

So what are the benefits of breastfeeding? Well there are plenty for both mother and child but lets start with the child. One of the best benefits for your child is that it gives them great immune health meaning it gives their little immune system a boost and helps protect them as antibodies from the mother is passed on to the baby through their "first milk" - the Colostrum. As well as the antibodies the Colostrum is also very rich in proteins and vitamin A, all brilliant for your newborn baby.

It is said that breastfeeding your child helps reduce the risk of developing infections, they have less diarrhoea and vomiting, chest infections, and ear infections on average compared to children who are not breastfed. A few studies carried out over the years seem to suggest this and I do think it is true as Logan has only really had a handle of colds, if that and just the odd high temperature which has cleared up quickly. He did have conjunctivitis at one point but this cleared up within a few days with eye drops from the doctor!

Now here's something I didn't know: "Breastfed babies have better arousal from sleep at 2–3 months. This coincides with the peak incidence of sudden infant death syndrome. A study conducted at the University of Munster found that breastfeeding halved the risk of sudden infant death syndrome in children up to the age of 1."

As well as the above, studies have shown that breastfeeding has also helped to give children higher intelligence, a less likelihood of diabetes and less chance of childhood obesity and being overweight.

For the mother (according to www.patient.co.uk) "various studies have looked at the possible health benefits to women who have breastfed. There is now good evidence that, on average, the following health problems are less common in women who have breastfed one or more babies compared to those who have never breastfed: Breast cancer, Ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes, Postnatal depression.

Breastfeeding is also very convenient, there is no need for preparation, the milk is always at the right temperature for baby and it is always available so no problems when out and about. It is also very cheap infact it's Free! So for any mums on a budget breastfeeding is definitely the way to go. It also helps burn a lot of calories so back into those pre-maternity clothes quicker!

All of these breastfeeding things are great but the one which I liked the most was probably the simplest - bonding. I loved that I was the only one would could feed Logan and I feel now we have an amazing bond because of it. The time we shared only the two of us was very special and something which I can treasure forever.

The Boob, courtesy of www.patient.co.uk

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