4 Brilliant Benefits of BreastfeedingPublished on
Breastfeeding provides a multitude of benefits for both for you and your baby. To support World Breastfeeding Week, (1-7 August) we’ve listed a few below…
1. Health drink
According to the NHS, the health advantages of breastfeeding are immense. Breastmilk contains the perfect combo of vitamins, minerals, fats and proteins, plus the right antibodies necessary to fend off germs. So breastfeeding your baby can reduce his risk of infections, diarrhoea and vomiting, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), obesity and cardiovascular disease in later life.
And the positives extend to mum, as well as baby. Breastfeeding lowers your risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. The longer you breastfeed, the greater the gains.
2. Weighty decision
Want to shift a few pounds? Breastfeeding can burn an average of 500 additional calories daily, though sadly it’s not a sure fire guarantee of weight loss! But US researchers have found that women who breastfeed for six months or longer are 47% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, when compared to those who formula feed. This is because breastfeeding is thought to control insulin and blood sugar levels. A separate study, spanning 16 European countries, found that breastfeeding can also cut the chances of childhood obesity for your baby by up to 25%.
3. Save, save, save
Not only is breastfeeding completely free, it can save you precious time too. Now that time has become so limited, who wants to spend ages sterilising bottles (unless you’re expressing), or shopping for formula? Breastfeeding can also help you save the planet, as no plastic paraphernalia is needed when you’re exclusively breastfeeding. You can bolster your eco efforts by using Pura’s plastic-free wipes to clear up any leaks and spills after feeding too.
4 . Boosts your mood
Okay, it can hurt like hell to start with, and cause mounting frustration until you’ve mastered the technique. But when you breastfeed, oxytocin is released, helping you bond with your baby and prompting a warm glow as you feed. Once you’re comfortable with it, sitting down and simply feeding your baby can be deeply relaxing. Breast milk adapts as your baby grows too, so in most cases you can simply sit back and trust in your body to do all the work necessary to provide your baby with all its nutritional needs.
A final word
The NHS recommends giving nothing but breast milk until weaning (usually when your baby is about 6 months old). However, breastfeeding is not for everyone, and there can be a lot of guilt, shame and stigma for those mothers who struggle to do it. If you need support, do contact your health visitor. The NHS also runs the 24-hour Start4Life Breastfeeding Friend chatbot for fast, friendly, trusted NHS advice.
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