The beginning of August marks the start of National Breastfeeding Awareness Week and we wanted to look at some interesting ways that breastmilk can benefit new moms and their little ones. Some of them you may have heard before, but we bet you will be surprised by more than one!
Breastfed Babies Have:
- Stronger immune systems
- Less diarrhea, constipation, gastroenteritis, gastroesophageal reflux, and preterm necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
- Fewer colds and respiratory illnesses like pneumonia, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and whooping cough
- Fewer ear infections, especially those that damage hearing
- Fewer case of bacterial meningitis
- Better vision and less retinopathy of prematurity
- Lower rates of infant mortality
- Lower rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Less illness overall and less hospitalization
- Parents have up to six times less absenteeism from work
Breastfed Babies Become Healthier Children With:
- Fewer instances of allergies, eczema, and asthma
- Fewer childhood cancers, including leukemia and lymphomas
- Lower risk of type I and II diabetes
- Fewer instances of Crohn’s disease and colitis
- Lower rates of respiratory illness
- Fewer speech and orthodontic problems
- Fewer cavities
- Less likelihood of becoming obese later in childhood
- Improved brain maturation
- Greater immunity to infection
Breastfed Babies Grow Into Teens & Adults Who Are:
- Less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Less likely to develop heart disease in adulthood
- Lower risk of multiple sclerosis
- Lower rates of pre- and postmenopausal breast cancers
- Lower risk of breast cancer
- Lower risk of ovarian cancer
- Lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Less endometriosis
- Less osteoporosis with age
- Less diabetes
- Less hypertension decreases blood pressure
- Less cardiovascular disease
Breastfeeding Moms Typically Experience Healthier Recovery Postpartum
- Breastfeeding produces the naturally soothing hormones oxytocin and prolactin that promote stress reduction and positive feelings in the nursing mother.
- Increased confidence and self-esteem
- Increased calmness. Breastfed babies cry less overall, and have fewer incidences of childhood illness. Breastfeeding can support the wellness of body, mind, and spirit for the whole family.
- Breastfeeding makes travel easier. Breast milk is always clean and the right temperature.
- Physical/emotional bonding between mother and child is increased. Breastfeeding promotes more skin-to-skin contact, more holding and stroking. Many feel that affectionate bonding during the first years of life help reduce social and behavioral problems in both children and adults.
- Breastfeeding mothers learn to read their infant’s cues and babies learn to trust caregivers. This helps shape the infant’s early behavior.
Do you have questions about preparing to breastfeed your baby or are you looking for a provider to walk with you through this new journey? Our Highland Clinic OB/GYN physicians would love to visit with you with offices in Shreveport and Bossier City.