Breastfeeding has many benefits for both babies and their mothers. Not only does it provide excellent nutrition for growth and development, but it can also help protect against certain illnesses.
According to the Center for Disease Control’s 2020 Breastfeeding Report Card, most infants in the United States began breastfeeding after birth (84.1%), with 58.3% still breastfeeding at six months. Patient education efforts about breastfeeding in maternity care hospitals has led to an increase in these figures during recent years.
Breastfeeding Benefits Baby and Mom
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for a baby’s first six months of life, and then to continue breastfeeding while introducing other foods until the child is 12 months old. Some of the main benefits a mother and her baby will receive from breastfeeding include:
- Nutrition – Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for growing babies. As a baby develops, their mother’s milk will change to meet their nutritional needs.
- Protection – Breastfeeding can help protect babies from some short-term and long-term conditions and diseases like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes and more. Studies have shown that breastfed babies are also less likely to get stomach bugs and ear infections, too.
- Antibodies – Babies can develop strong immune systems through breastfeeding because breast milk shares antibodies from mother to child.
- Reduced Risk – Over the years, data has shown that mothers who breastfeed their babies are less likely to have high blood pressure, breast and cervical cancer as well as type 2 diabetes.
- Convenience – Mothers can breastfeed anywhere without having to prepare bottles and formula.
Pediatric Services at Lane
From birth through the teen years, Lane Pediatrics is here every step of the way. Your questions may start with breastfeeding, but as a parent, they certainly will not end there. Develop a relationship with our expert team and ensure your peace of mind and your child’s health throughout the coming years.