It’s a magical time when you bring your baby into the world. So many things change, and so many decisions need to be made. One of the main choices you will make is whether or not to breastfeed your child. Much research has been done on the benefits of breastfeeding, and science continues to prove that it is generally the best option for mother and baby.
How is breastfeeding beneficial to the baby?
Studies have shown that there is a multitude of benefits to breastfeeding your baby. Breast milk provides needed nutrients to your baby as well as protein and fat to help your baby grow. Your antibodies are also shared with your baby through breast milk, helping to strengthen their immune system and provide protection against illnesses. Breastfed babies are known to experience fewer colds, respiratory diseases, ear infections, and more. Along with the health benefits, the bond and closeness established with your baby through breastfeeding helps evokes a feeling of security.
How is breastfeeding beneficial to the mother?
It’s not just your baby who will benefit from breastfeeding. There are several benefits to mom as well. Breastfeeding helps to burn extra calories, making it easier to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight. It also releases a hormone called oxytocin, which helps restore your uterus by stopping uterine bleeding and returning it to its previous size. It also helps increase feelings of wellness and reduce stress, allowing you to feel emotionally healthier overall. Women who breastfeed are known to have a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer, as well as a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
How long should I breastfeed my baby?
There is no cookie-cutter answer to how long you should breastfeed. The short answer is: As long as you can. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that you should breastfeed your child exclusively for six months before you incorporate other types of nutrition into your routine. Breastfeeding for a year or more has been linked to long-term benefits, such as higher IQ.
Is breastfeeding better than formula feeding?
Though there are rare occasions when formula feeding may be better for the baby, in most cases, breast milk is the more beneficial option. Formula can be difficult for babies to digest. It also has many other benefits over formula, as breast milk adapts to your baby’s needs and comes at no cost.
We know that bringing a child into the world and the decisions that follow have a significant impact on the life of both you and your baby. Our doctors and medical staff at Lane OB/GYN and Baby Lane are happy to help you make the best choices for you both. Give our team a call and see why Mothers trust Lane to provide the best care to you both.