If you are an expecting or new mom, you may be wondering if breast feeding truly makes a difference in your baby’s life, both in the short and long term.
You CAN boost your baby’s health by nursing. Here are ten ways:
1. Reduced rate of SIDS.
There are many reasons for this, some of which are explained on this page, like less sickness and better breathing. The medical community can be vague about stating what actually causes SIDS, but they have done research to tell us where the most incidences occur.
“The highest rates of SIDS occur in formula-fed, boys, born in winter. If you’re already pregnant, which of these factors can you control?” asked my lactation course instructor.
2. Higher IQ.
DHA is the brain boosting fat that contributes to the growth, development, and maintenance of brain tissue. Organic baby formula manufacturers have started to include this and other important nutrients, however studies haven’t yet shown if it has the same effects.
3. Reduced risk of diabetes.
Nursing, combined with delaying the introduction of cow’s milk reduces the risk of juvenile onset diabetes and lowers the amount of insulin release in infants.
If you have a family history of diabetes, this is important to consider.
4. Breast milk tastes better.
You don’t have to do a taste test, but the sweeter taste of your breast milk is more appealing to your baby.
5. Breast feeding promotes stronger immunity.
Your milk is packed with immunoglobulin A and white blood cells, both of which fight against infection and germs in the environment.
The medical community recognizes that breastfed babies have less incidences of every kind of infectious disease.
You can also pass on immunity to a variety of diseases you may encounter. Breast feeding is nature’s immunization.
6. Healthier skin.
Softer, smoother skin, may be attributed to the higher concentrations of DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids. Baby skin conditions, such as baby eczema also occur less frequently.
7. Maximum Nutrients
The nutrients in breast milk have a higher absorption rate. So even though formula may have more iron, for example, the baby absorbs more iron from breast milk than from the formula.
World renowned pediatrician, Dr. Frank Oski, of the John Hopkins school of medicine said he discovered more than 400 hundred nutrients in human milk not available in formula.
8. Keener senses
Breast milk has been linked to better hearing, seeing andeven more discerning taste buds. Since your milk takes on the various flavors you eat, your baby may acquire a taste to a wider variety of foods before starting solids.
9. Breast milk is easier on the digestive system.
Whey, is a soft, digestible protein that goes down easier and stays down more often. Your baby is less likely to have reflux and the crankiness that comes with it.
10. Babies breathe better.
Breastfed babies develop a larger nasal space, which can lessen problems with snoring and sleep apnea later in life. Even if your baby starts of snoring, breast feeding can help over time.
Breast feeding has just as many benefits for moms. Take them into consideration if you are on the fence.
And if you are seeking more in-depth medical information about nursing, The Breastfeeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning written by Martha Sears R.N. and William Sears M.D., is a great resource.