5 Key Benefits of Breastfeeding Your Newborn
You’ve probably heard it before – breastfeeding, if you’re able, is always the way to go with a newborn. But why? What are the reasons behind preferring breast milk to formula for infants?
There are many reasons breastfeeding benefits a newborn – here are just a few of them.
The fact of the matter is, while formula can be a good substitution if breastfeeding isn’t an option, there’s no replicating the immense number of health benefits that come from a mother’s breast milk. The natural antibodies, enzymes and antiviruses in breast milk help a newborn fight off infections, respiratory illnesses like pneumonia and stomachaches. (It even has been shown to reduce frequency of gas and spitting up – an added bonus for what most mothers see as an unfortunate inevitability.)
Long-term illnesses are less likely to develop in babies who breastfeed, as well, such as asthma, diabetes and childhood obesity.
Beyond simply fighting off disease, breast milk can work wonders in the development department. Babies who nurse have a much easier time developing healthy, strong brains and bones, particularly jaw bones and teeth. In fact, a study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital recently found that babies fed with breast milk in the first month developed better IQs, memory and motor skills.
There’s something to be said for convenience when you’re juggling parenting and working and your day-to-day life. That’s why not having to bother with formulas and powders when it’s time to feed your baby is so critical. Breastfeeding afford you the option of essentially taking your baby’s food source with you on the go. It’s milk designed to be available when needed and is already at the proper temperature for feeding.
The benefits aren’t just restricted to your newborn, either. Breastfeeding has been linked to positive outcomes for mothers as well. Women who breastfeed burn as many as 500 calories a day just from the process alone. Plus, it assists in the uterine rebuilding process, lessens risk of certain types of cancer like breast and ovarian and improves bone density. It’s a mutually beneficial experience for both parties.
The health benefits are key to what makes breastfeeding so important – but the cost savings certainly doesn’t hurt either. Imagine lifting the cost of bottles, rubber nipples and formula from your monthly budget. In the first year, most breastfeeding mothers save more than $1,000 just from eliminating these expenses. And with both mother and baby in tip-top shape thanks to the physical positives of nursing, you’ll likely become sick less often and miss fewer days of work, while your baby will require less spend on medical bills. It’s a clean bill of health for both of you.