7 Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom and Baby

7 Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom and Baby

January 28, 2019

7 Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom and Baby

7 Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom and Baby
7 Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom and Baby

New parents face many decisions, and a big one is the decision to breastfeed. What are the benefits? What will I need? Having the facts will not only help you feel confident in your decision, it will help you make sure that whatever you decide, it’s best for you and your growing family.

If you do decide to breastfeed, though, you’ll reap plenty of rewards—both physical and emotional. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages exclusive breastfeeding for six months to receive maximum health benefits. They suggest continuing to breastfeed up to the first birthday, even after you start introducing solid foods.

So here are the main benefits of breastfeeding. Keeping these perks in mind can help motivate you during the challenges (yes, we all have them) that come along with breastfeeding and being a new parent.

1. Provides ideal nutrition to your baby. It’s truly incredible: your body produces breast milk that’s specifically made for your baby in all the right proportions. In the first days after birth, your breast milk will be colostrum—a thick, yellow fluid that’s packed with protein, vitamins and minerals. After three to four days of colostrum, your breast milk comes in, allowing you to deliver more nutrients and calories to your growing baby.

It can be helpful to build up a supply of breast milk in your fridge and freezer, whether or not you plan to return to work. Why? Because extra milk gives you the flexibility of having someone else give baby a bottle (hello, date night!)—and because stress, illness and exhaustion can lower your milk quality and production. Having a back-up allows your baby to continue receiving those all-important nutrients, even when you’re not feeling your best. That’s where pumping comes in. You can find a breast pump you love and get it for free through your insurance with Aeroflow Breastpumps.

2. Decreases your baby’s risk of viruses and infections. Breast milk contains antibodies that can help your baby fight bacteria and viruses. If you’re sick, for example, your body produces antibodies that can help your baby avoid that infection. Breast milk that’s pumped and stored continues delivering those antibodies to your baby even if you’re out for the evening or back at work.

3. Helps with bonding. Whether your baby is bottle-fed or breastfed, there’s no doubt you’ll form a lasting connection. But nursing offers you some additional bonding bonuses—like skin-to-skin contact that reassures and soothes your little one. It also releases oxytocin, known as the “love hormone.” Every time you nurse, your brain produces more of it to help you bond with your baby.

4. Aids in your postpartum recovery. That oxytocin hormone also helps your uterus shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size. In your first days of breastfeeding, you might feel mild contractions while you nurse (don’t worry: they’re not nearly as painful as labor contractions). Oxytocin also helps reduce your uterine bleeding post-birth.

5. Pumping can help support breastfeeding. If you’re having trouble breastfeeding, or when you’re heading back to work, pumping can often help. Pumping after or between feedings can help make sure your milk supply stay high—in theory the more milk you express, the more your body will produce (even if nothing or very little comes out at first), eventually increasing your output. And when you go back to work, a pump will be essential to helping you express milk throughout the day. Aeroflow Breastpumps and their trained Breastpump Specialists can find the right pump for you and your unique situation, and help you navigate your insurance to get it at no cost.

6. Offers you long-term health perks. Studies show that nursing moms have a lower risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Some even indicate that nursing could lower your risk of osteoporosis because your body absorbs calcium more effectively during lactation.

7. Can protect your baby from certain diseases. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports evidence that breastfed babies are more protected against diseases and conditions, like diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, ear infections, diabetes and certain types of cancer. If you pump and store your milk, you can provide this possible protection to your baby for longer.

If you’re thinking about or planning to breastfeed, getting a quality breast pump can help make your journey easier.

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