Updated: Jan 27, 2022
Breastfeeding a new baby can be challenging for many mothers --- learning the proper technique, getting your baby to latch, and making time while holding a job outside of the home. The long-term benefits of breastfeeding your baby cannot be understated, which is one reason many new moms seek the support of lactation specialists or midwives in order to learn the proper way to breastfeed.
While there are numerous reasons to breastfeed your baby if possible, here are three we feel are incredibly important:
Breastfeeding provides ideal nutrition for babies
Breast milk contains everything a baby needs for the first 6-12 months of life. Additionally, the composite makeup of breast milk changes as the baby grows, ensuring your baby gets exactly what is needed.
Truly, the only thing missing in breast milk is a high volume of vitamin D. In fact, unless you have a very high intake of vitamin D, it might be the only thing your breast milk lacks. Talk to your pediatrician about vitamin D drops to see if they might be right for your baby.
Breastfeeding provides critical antibodies for babies
Breast milk contains lots of antibodies that your baby needs to help fight off viruses and dangerous bacteria during those early months of life. One of the main ways this occurs is that as you are exposed, your body will begin producing antibodies which, in turn, your will hand to your baby through your breast milk.
Breastfed babies become healthier children and adults with:
Fewer instances of allergies, eczema, and asthma
Lower risk of type I and II diabetes
Lower rates of respiratory illness
Lower rates of speech and orthodontic problems
Better dental and jaw development with fewer cavities
Less likelihood of becoming obese later in childhood
Improved brain maturation
Greater immunity to infection and stronger immune system
Less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis
Lower risk of childhood cancer and postmenopausal breast cancer
While formula can contain many vitamins and minerals your baby needs, it is unable to provide these critical antibodies.
Breastfeeding helps to reduce disease risk for babies
One of the biggest benefits of exclusive breastfeeding is the long-term health benefits it provides your baby. Breastfeeding has been found to help reduce the risk of many illnesses and diseases including:
Middle ear infections
Excessive colds and gut infections
Intestinal tissue damage
Respiratory tract infections
Additionally, breastfeeding helps your baby develop habits that will have an impact on their breathing and airway health. It also helps to properly develop their pallet and strengthen their tongue and mouth muscles.
The airway benefits include teaching your child to breath correctly through their nose and not their mouth, helping to prevent sleep issues such as snoring.
Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
Here are a few tips that will help you as you create a bond with your baby and develop your breastfeeding skills:
Begin breastfeeding immediately after birth ---- aiming for 8-12 times per 24-hour period if possible
When holding your baby, hold your baby skin-to-skin
Keep your baby close by when in the hospital and the first few nights at home
Avoid giving your baby a pacifier or bottle until breastfeeding is well established
If you still find you are having challenges, consult your pediatrician or lactation specialist.
CHILDHOOD AIRWAY DISORDERS: DONATE NOW
There is a silent epidemic weaving its way throughout the children of the world. Sleep issues, an inability to focus or concentrate, lack of energy, and even depression are all symptoms that can be traced back to childhood airway disorders. If caught and treated early enough, the pain and suffering a child experiences can be avoided. Without identification and treatment, a child suffering from an airway disorder will experience pain, exhaustion, mental issues, and even death.
The Children's Airway First Foundation (CAFF) is on a mission to ensure that both parents and pediatric medical professionals become educated on the causes of childhood airway disorders, the signs and symptoms to look for, and what treatment options are available.
Your donation allows us to continue our mission of education and prevention of pediatric airway disorders.
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