Breastfeeding: How Important Is It?

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Ever since the introduction of formula, mothers have had the choice to opt whether to breastfeed their baby. For decades there were debates whether a mother’s natural milk was better for her child than the vitamin fortified formula created in a lab.

As the nutrition amongst the majority of the population became better, it became clearer that breast milk was more beneficial to a child’s early development than baby formula. Research has shown again and again that breastfeeding is better for both the child and the mother. This has led many doctors and certified lactation consultants to urge new mothers to breastfeed if they are able to do so. We often hear about the numerous benefits of breastfeeding but what exactly are they?

First of all the simplicity of breast milk makes it very easy for babies to digest. This prevents them from having bouts of diarrhea, gas, and upset stomachs. Since your baby is less likely to have tummy troubles when breastfeeding, this will make it less likely that your baby will also suffer from colic. That fact alone will also make it much easier to be a mother since your baby is not up fussing constantly.

An additional benefit is that it is more cost effective and more convenient than formula. By breastfeeding you can avoid frequent trips to the grocery store to buy formula. You never have to worry about not having enough on hand in order to feed your baby as your body will naturally produce enough for your baby that will often coincide with the times that they are hungry. Saving you money by not having to buy formula and time not having to prepare the mix are some big perks of breastfeeding.

A child who is breastfed also has less health problems in the long run than those who are bottle fed, according to numerous medical studies. There are less risks for obesity, cancers, eczema, asthma, diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome, and many other diseases for children that were exclusively breastfed for the first six months of his life. Also, the immunities to many different diseases is passed on through the mother’s milk, allowing the baby to develop a stronger immune system, which is very important during the first few years of life, since the immune system in very small children is easily compromised.

There are many health benefits for the baby that exclusively breastfed for the first six months including less developmental and behavioral problems, as well as boasting higher I.Q.s than their formula fed counterparts. Mothers can also enjoy several health benefits of breastfeeding including a lower risk for both ovarian and breast cancers, help to fortify your bones, and will burn more calories so that you will burn away your baby weight faster.

The Center for Disease Control, The World Health Organization, and the Department of Health and Human Services are now urging mothers to breastfeed as it is much due to the overwhelming evidence of it benefiting children in both the short and long term. Breastfeeding is one of the best decisions that you can make for your baby for the present and for their future.