Breastfeeding | Breastfeeding & Pumping

Benefits of Breastfeeding: The Breastfeeding Perks That Can Change Your Life (& Your Baby’s!)

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The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous! There’s a reason women choose to breastfeed – and it’s certainly not because it’s easy.

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed – this free app for tracking your breastfeeding sessions comes highly rated from me and will hopefully help you feel more at ease! A calm momma produces more breast milk.

But back to the amazing benefits of breastfeeding.

Many expecting mother’s are aware that breastfeeding has great benefits for their baby, but did you know that it also has a pretty incredible impact on breastfeeding moms? The human body is pretty amazing! So here’s how it works..

For your full 6 Day Breastfeeding Crash E-Mail Course and monthly newsletter sign up here:

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby

benefits of breastfeeding

Baby Gets All They Need – “the Perfect Nutrition”

I feel like this goes without saying, but there really is no better nutrition for your baby.

Breast milk changes as your baby grows and changes. That means that depending on what developmental stage your baby is in, your breast milk adjusts to become the perfect fit.

This phenomenon explains why colostrum is a perfect first food for a new baby with a tiny stomach and then adjusts to eventually feed a toddler! Not to mention how your breast milk adjusts during growth spurts and your baby’s sicknesses.

In addition to these amazing breast milk adjustments, breast milk is also easier for your baby to digest.

If you want even more details on the magical way that breast milk changes, check out this article from Today’s Parent – seriously, so cool!

Increased Immune System

No one wants their little one to get sick, so if you could do something to help prevent it, I know you would.

Believe it or not, your breast milk allows you to pass on antibodies to your baby! An antibody is a protein that helps you fight off infections. So when those awesome little proteins get passed on to your baby, they’re more likely to be able to fight off some sicknesses.

Antibodies can help provide extra protection against bacteria and viruses, which helps your baby stay healthier.

KellyMom goes into some very specific antibody and immune system details if you want more information!

Decreased Risk of Ear Infections, Allergies, Asthma, and Obesity

The benefits of breastfeeding also include a decrease in your child’s risk for ear infections, allergies, and asthma.

One reasons that ear infections and allergies are less common in breastfed babies is due to those awesome antibodies discussed above. When a baby gets sick less, he or she is less likely to have ear infections. And there’s an antibody that assists with fewer food allergies! Dr. Sears has all the details here.

Breastfed babies are also said to have a decreased risk of becoming obese – at least during their early elementary school years. If you want more specifics on the study – here’s the research article!

Bonding

This seems like another given, right? When you breastfeed your baby you’re going to only strengthen the bond between the two of you.

Breastfeeding is a close, loving activity. You hold your baby tight, let him or her snuggle in, and provide them with the perfect nutrition. Sounds like a recipe for success to me!

All of that added closeness and cuddles help you and your baby bond. Not only does this help grow your relationship in the early days, it also allows your little one to feel loved and secure.

Higher IQ

Some studies show that children who were breastfed have higher IQ scores. While other studies refute this claim, what can it hurt? Anything to give your little one an extra boost, right?!

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Moms

benefits of breastfeeding

Save Money & Time

I don’t need to tell you – baby’s can get expensive! From a bassinet to clothes to diapers – there are some costs you simply can’t escape. But when it comes to feeding, breastfeeding can really help you save time and money.

When you breastfeed there’s no need to worry about buying (and packing) bottles and formula, or cleaning those items! If you’ve ever cleaned bottles or pump parts – you know what I’m talking about. It seems to take forever.

There’s something incredibly freeing about getting ready to go on a trip with your baby and realizing you don’t need to pack anything to feed him or her, you’ve got all the goods already ready. Now that’s a sweet deal.

All you need is yourself and your baby to breastfeed. There are some other “nice to have” items, like nursing covers or breast pumps. But realistically, you’re good to go!

Lose Baby Weight Faster

This is perk that new moms seem to love. And I’m certainly not complaining about it either!

Did you know that breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories a day? That’s an insane workout!

Many breastfeeding mothers are able to lose the baby weight much faster than those who choose not to breastfeed for this reason alone. Your body is working hard to make breast milk and it shows!

If you’re looking for even more guidance on breastfeeding nutrition and weight loss – check out The Postpartum Cure!

Bonding

Just as bonding is good for your little babe, it’s also good for you! Spending the extra time cuddling and holding your little one close can help you form a special bond with your new baby and can also help reduce your chance of postpartum depression.

Don’t get me wrong – you can absolutely still bond with your formula fed baby. But the focus of this post is on the benefits of breastfeeding, and this is just a great excuse for extra frequent cuddles!

Lowers Risks of Breast and Ovarian Cancer

The benefits of breastfeeding also includes this BIG health related topic. Cancer.

Studies have shown that breastfeeding lowers your risk of several health issues, including breast cancer and ovarian cancer. This is due to changing hormones during breastfeeding and breast tissue shedding.

Doctors do recommend you breastfeed for 6 months to get the most benefit when it comes to cancer risk reduction. For more details on this check out this article from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Breastfeeding can also reduce uterine bleeding after your baby is born. Again, this is due to all those changing hormones in your body. Just when you weren’t so sure about crazy hormones, you find out they can do some pretty cool things!

I’ve Heard the Benefits…But Still Think I’ll Formula Feed

I want to make sure you know, that if you’re a formula momma – I still totally support you! While I believe breastfeeding is fantastic and benefits of breastfeeding are pretty amazing, a fed baby is truly what is best.

So if you’re struggling to breastfeed or not happy doing so, please don’t! A happy healthy momma who feeds her baby formula is just what your baby needs – not an unhappy momma doing something she doesn’t want to or struggles to do.

I Love the Benefits of Breastfeeding – But It’s Still Hard!

The benefits seem to go and on! It’s easy to see why many moms have a desire to breastfeed their baby. Breastfeeding is not without its challenges though and many moms choose to use formula instead.

Next week we’ll talk about those challenges, and how to work through them and still be successful!

In the meantime, if you’re looking for more great info on breastfeeding – check out the best snack foods for breastfeeding moms and learn the truth about breastfeeding basics!

For your full 6 Day Breastfeeding Crash E-Mail Course and monthly newsletter sign up here:

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