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The Advantages of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding, even in just the first days or weeks, can have a drastic impact on your baby’s health. However, if you breastfeed for six months to a year, you’ll see many advantages from breastfeeding for yourself, your baby and even for society in general. These advantages are rarely considered or talked about today, but they are extremely important.

Your Baby

Your baby will enjoy many advantages from breastfeeding. It has been proven that your child’s overall health will be better with breastfeeding, due to the boost in the immune system received from a mother’s milk. Your child will be much less susceptible to ear and respiratory infections, the flu and possibly even cancer. Vaccinations are also shown to be more effective in children who have been breastfed, which benefits both your child and society.

Your child’s overall nutrition and general health condition will be vastly improved with breastfeeding as well. Breast milk is the most natural form of food for your baby, and therefore you won’t have to deal with the horrendous diapers caused by formula feeding – a big plus for you. Your baby’s digestive system will work better, which is a plus for him because he won’t have to worry about constipation, which is also common with formula feeding. Breast milk is also more filling to the baby, so you won’t have to introduce solid foods as early.

These nutritional benefits can actually instill an inherent desire in the child to be healthy and consume the proper balance of foods and nutrition. It can also increase dental health and reduce your child’s risk of diabetes throughout his life. You child may also be less likely to become obese if he’s breastfed.

Further, studies show that babies who are breastfed are smarter and have a higher IQ than babies who weren’t breastfed. This is demonstrated when cognitive and social development jump ahead of normal levels as the baby grows. Toddler development is also enhanced and children who are breastfed exceed their formula-fed peers in academic studies throughout their childhoods.

Benefits for Mom

Of course, let’s not forget the advantages of breastfeeding to you, the mother. Breastfeeding does many things for you and your family as well. It starts with the fact that you’ll lose your baby weight much faster if you breastfeed, which certainly appeals to new moms. You’ll also find that you have more energy after breastfeeding that you’ll definitely need as a new mother.

You’ll also see an improvement in your own health. It has been shown that women who breastfeed have a lower risk of diabetes, can lower their insulin needs if they already have diabetes and have lower risks for osteoporosis. Risks for certain types of cancer, such as breast and ovarian cancers, are also reduced by breastfeeding.

There are, of course, financial benefits as well. You don’t have to spend a fortune on bottles and bottle supplies, which also put strains on society’s natural resources. Formula is its own major expense, costing between $800 and $1200 per year. Breastfeeding also slows the fertility process, helping you to space out your children and create less strain on your budget.

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