Is Breastfeeding Better for Your Baby?: 5 Benefits of Breastfeeding


| 9/22/2015 11:09:00 AM


 

The choice to breastfeed or formula feed is a highly personal one, and new mothers will need to take many factors into consideration when making the decision. Experts suggest that new mothers breastfeed exclusively for at least the first six months, if possible.

Besides providing you and your baby with time to bond, studies show that breastfeeding can protect your child from a variety of illnesses and conditions.

5 Benefits of Breastfeeding for Your Child

Breast milk is the most ideal nutrition for a newborn. It provides a vast array of nutrients that help to protect your baby from illness and help them with proper growth and development. It gives the baby several immune-boosting compounds that help provide the child with immunity, and it is also likely important for helping the child develop a healthy gut microbiome, which is now known to play a large role in keeping us healthy.[1] Breastfed babies show a reduced risk for the following conditions:

1. Infections. Kids who breast feed have a lower chance of getting a variety of infections during childhood like gastrointestinal infections, respiratory tract infections, ear infections, and more. In one study, formula fed infants had higher rates of hospitalizations due to each infection studied.[2]



2. Diarrhea. Babies who breast feed are at a much lower risk of having diarrhea. Results show that the most protection is given when babies are breastfed exclusively for at least the first six months and then some from six to 23 months of age.[3]



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