The age-old practice of breastfeeding has multiple benefits for mothers and babies alike.
Natural, convenient and loaded with nutrients, breast milk has long been the go-to meal when mothers seek the best option for feeding their babies. Nursing also provides a powerful opportunity for a mother and baby to bond. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, during breastfeeding, the release of a hormone in the mother’s body called prolactin promotes a physical and emotional sense of calm, while the production of another hormone called oxytocin encourages feelings of attachment and love.
Breastfeeding offers a range of additional benefits that boost the well-being of both moms and babies, including:
Added Perks for Mom
- Improved ability to lose weight after having a baby
- Lowered risk of postpartum depression
- Reduced risk of developing future health complications, such as cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and rheumatoid arthritis
Bonuses for Baby
- An enhanced emotional connection to mother because of skin-to-skin contact
- A drop in susceptibility to allergies later in life
- Lowered risk for developing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Reduced risk of Type I diabetes
The Financial Factor
By eliminating or greatly reducing the need for expensive formulas, breast milk can be a significant money saver for parents. Plus, because babies who are breastfed are less likely to have health complications, breastfeeding can help reduce medical bills.
Make the Choice That’s Right for You
While breastfeeding offers many health benefits, it can be challenging and may not be appropriate for everyone. If it’s not a fit for you and your baby, talk with your doctor about healthy alternatives.