Mom & Baby Care

Top 5 Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Mother And The Baby

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 10 May 2022, Updated on - 18 October 2022

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Holding your little one in your arms is perhaps the most joyous feeling you can ever experience. However, the feeling is closely accompanied by that of great responsibility. One of the biggest concerns right after giving birth to your baby is to ensure his or her wellbeing. Early nutrition plays a key role in the growth and development of infants later in life. And when it comes to early nutrition, nothing comes close to breastfeeding. Let us understand how breastfeeding benefits both the mother and the baby. 

Benefits of Breastfeeding the Baby

1. Breastfeeding offers the right nutrition to infants

Breast milk contains adequate amounts of all the essential nutrients that your baby needs during the first 6 months of life. During the initial days after the birth, your breast milk contains colostrum, a yellowish fluid that is low in sugar but is rich in protein, which aids the development of the digestive tract of the newborn. Once the baby’s stomach has developed enough, the breasts start releasing large quantities of milk. 

2. Breastfeeding can help infants fight infections

Breast milk contains significant amounts of live antibodies that help the immune system of the baby fight against viral and bacterial infections. Colostrum contains large amounts of immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody that plays a key role in immune function. IgA coats the lining of the baby’s immature intestines, nose, and throat and prevents the disease-causing germs and allergens from leaking through. Studies show that breastfed infants are less likely to experience infections of the middle ear, respiratory tract, throat, and gut. 


3. Breastfeeding can lower the risk of severe diseases

Breastfeeding is associated with a major decline in the incidence of diseases, both acute and chronic, in infants. According to research, breastfeeding can help reduce the risk of intestinal tissue damage (necrotizing enterocolitis), bowel diseases, allergic diseases, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). According to a study, breastfeeding may even be tied to a lower risk of childhood leukaemia (blood cancer). 

4. Breastfeeding prevents obesity

Breastfeeding can help facilitate the normal growth and development of the baby. According to a study, infants who are breastfed for more than 4 months are less likely to become obese or overweight. Breast milk is also an excellent source of leptin, a hormone that plays a pivotal role in appetite control and fat storage. The hormone may help the babies self-regulate their intake of milk and even help in the development of healthy eating patterns later in life. 

5. Breastfeeding supports the brain development of infants

Research reveals that breastfed babies usually have higher intelligence scores than formula-fed infants. Breast milk fed babies are also less likely to develop behavioural issues and learning problems while growing up. 

Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Mother 

1. Breastfeeding may help the mother lose weight

Breastfeeding helps in the burning of more calories. According to research, women who breastfeed their babies experience faster fat loss after 3 months of lactation. As a result, such women lose weight more rapidly.


2. Breastfeeding may help reduce the risk of depression

Many women experience postpartum depression soon after childbirth. According to research, women who breastfeed their babies may be at a reduced risk of developing postpartum depression. Hormones responsible for lactation such as oxytocin and prolactin may also offer mood-uplifting effects. 

3. Breastfeeding may help support the contraction of the uterus

Researchers say that breastfeeding helps increase the levels of the oxytocin hormone. The hormone helps the uterus, which grows immensely during the pregnancy, return to its normal size. 

4. Breastfeeding may help manage the menstrual cycle

Breastfeeding is also known to help delay ovulation and menstruation. The natural deferment of menstruation can help ensure a healthy gap between successive pregnancies. 


5. Breastfeeding may help reduce the risk of various diseases

Breastfeeding is believed to offer mothers long-term protection against several diseases. Women who breastfeed may be at a lower risk of developing conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), arthritis, cardiovascular (heart) disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, endometriosis, and certain types of cancer (breast and ovarian cancer). 

There is a broad consensus among health experts that breastfeeding is beneficial for both babies and their mothers. Breast milk contains various nutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, antibodies, and various other compounds that make it the best source of nutrition for babies. Breastfeeding helps keeps the baby healthy while benefitting the mother simultaneously.


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