Benefits of Breastfeeding

The overall health benefits of breastfeeding include a reduced risk of hypertension and obesity, a stronger immune system and protection against developing some chronic diseases. Breastfed babies are also less susceptible to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). There is even some speculation that breastfeeding may help prevent the development of autism. Breastfeeding offers emotional and psychological benefits to both the mother and the baby.

If you are struggling with the decision of whether to breastfeed your baby or to use infant formula, give some serious thought to the overall benefits of breastfeeding, and make the decision that is best for your baby’s overall health and well-being. Formula is a man-made substance that simply cannot compete with mother nature. You may have heard that it makes no difference whether a baby is breastfed or given formula; that is false information. It makes a huge difference in the health of your baby, not only during the early years, but throughout life.

Breastfeeding may not always be convenient, and your breasts may become sore when you first begin breastfeeding. A little breast pain is not much of a sacrifice when it comes to the health of your baby. Pediatricians are aware of the benefits of breastfeeding; they know that breast milk is better for your baby. However, some pediatricians may recommend the use of formula, but remember they benefit financially from sick babies, not healthy ones. In his book, How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor, Pediatrician Robert Mendelsohn explained that pediatricians often make decisions that are not best for children. “Pediatricians are the principal foe of breastfeeding, despite incontrovertible evidence that it is one of the most effective ways to assure the future health of your child.”

Many mothers choose not to breast feed because they work full-time outside the home and find breastfeeding inconvenient; get a breast pump if necessary so your baby can reap the benefits of breast milk. Breastfeeding actually benefits career women. Mothers who breast feed their babies are absent from work less often than those who use formula. Formula fed babies are often plagued with ear infections, colds, and other illnesses causing mothers to miss work and spend time and money on pediatric services. Breastfed babies are much less prone to illness.

The benefits of breastfeeding for mothers include a lower risk of certain breast and ovarian cancers, and the ability to more easily lose the weight gained during pregnancy. Mothers who breastfeed also enjoy a unique bonding experience with their babies.

Breastfeeding is the best nutritional option for your baby. It may not be the most convenient choice, but it is the healthiest one. Do what you can to provide your baby with the benefits of breastfeeding. Doesn’t your baby deserve a healthy start in life?

Resources:
1. http://drclark.typepad.com/dr_david_clark/2009/10/how-to-prevent-autismbreastfeed-your-child.html
2. How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor, by Robert Mendelsohn, MD.