5 Reasons Why Breastfeeding Is Great

Many mothers choose to breastfeed because of the close bonding experience and the most nutritious option for their baby.

Commercial formulas, even organic ones, cannot be compared to breastfeeding. Let’s take a look at why breastfeeding is the greatest proven method.

  1. Breastfeeding Provides Optimal Nutrition

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that the best strategy for maintaining nutrition and health is “exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life” and “supplementary breastfeeding from six months to at least 12 months”. [1]. Breastfeeding your child for the first few months also affects the structure of the gut microbiome and facilitates the passage of solid foods. [2].

  1. Breastfeeding Sculpts the Immune System

But breastfeeding does more than just help your baby transition to solid food. A recent study shows that breastfeeding your baby can once again affect a developing immune system by affecting the microbiome. This reduces the rate of allergy or asthma development in your child. [3].

3. Breastfeeding Promotes Healthy Gut Flora Formation

Preventing allergies (and asthma) is just the tip of the iceberg. Many studies suggest that breastfed children have “a lower incidence of obesity, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease” later in life. [4]. Because babies don’t have gut bacteria when they’re born, helping to develop a healthy microbiome is necessary. [4]. Recent evidence suggests that breastfeeding can help with this.

4. Breastfeeding Makes Kids Smarter and Richer

Okay, that’s quite a bold statement, but that statement isn’t far off. A study from Brazil found that breastfed babies actually had higher IQs, went to school longer, and earned more money as adults. [5]. But it’s more than just breastfeeding – the length of time a child is breastfed is also very important: “for example, newborns who breastfed for at least one year gained a full four IQ points, had 0.9 more years of education, and were breastfed for a month or less. Compared to those who are breastfed, they earn a higher income of “$112” – 341 Brazilian reals when they reach the age of 30. ”

5. Breastfeeding Is Economically Best

Let’s review the health benefits for a moment. When it comes to the economy, breastfeeding could save millions of countries against future health costs, and these savings would make a lot of sense. [6]. A research team in the UK has noted that savings from “reducing the incidence of common childhood diseases and subsequently reducing the risk of breast cancer in mothers” could amount to as much as $60 million each year, “linked to higher breastfeeding rates”!

Finally

Breastfeeding can be a rewarding experience for you as a mother and can benefit your child’s health. Make sure you get enough nutrients during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. In addition to daily multi-vitamins, make sure you’re getting enough iodine: “Adding 150 mcg of iodine to all prenatal vitamins is enough iodine during pregnancy and early infancy for the baby’s developing brain to reach its maximum potential.”[7].

Global Healing Center, 5 Reasons Breastfeeding is Awesome, 2015

References:

  1. Lessen, R. & Kavanagh, K. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 115 (3).
  2. Thompson, AL Milk- and solid-feeding practices and daycare attendance are associated with differences in bacterial diversity, predominant communities, and metabolic and immune function of the infant gut microbiome. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.
  3. Henry Ford Health System. Breastfeeding, other factors help shape immune system early in life. ScienceDaily.
  4. Bergström, A. et al. Establishment of Intestinal Microbiota during Early Life: a Longitudinal, Explorative Study of a Large Cohort of Danish Infants. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 80 (9).
  5. Victoria, CG et al. Association between breastfeeding and intelligence, educational attainment, and income at 30 years of age: a prospective birth cohort study from Brazil. The Lancet Global Health. 3 (4).
  6. Pokhrel, S. et al. Potential economic impacts from improving breastfeeding rates in the UK. Archives of Disease in Childhood.
  7. Public Health Committee of the American Thyroid Association. Iodine supplementation for pregnancy and lactation-United States and Canada: recommendations of the American Thyroid Association. thyroid 16 (10).

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