Boobies for All! How Breastfeeding Benefits Everyone
If you’re reading this, you are probably a new mom, expecting, or are just curious. Depending on where you are in this, you may have heard that breastfeeding is good for the baby. But breastfeeding isn’t just good for the infant; it is good for the mother too.
In honor of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight the major research into the benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby.
Breastfed babies are more intelligent.
According to World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), on average, breastfed babies have a 2.6 point higher intelligence quotient (IQ) than non-breastfed babies. These numbers go up the longer an infant is breastfed.
Breastfed babies are healthier.
Perhaps you’ve heard about some of the health benefits of breastfeeding – specifically when it comes to stronger immune systems. Yes, breastfed babies have fewer digestive problems such as reflux, constipation, and diarrhea. They also have fewer colds and respiratory illnesses such as RSV, whooping cough, ear infections, and pneumonia.
Breastfed babies become healthier children.
But that’s not all, friends. Breastfed babies have fewer skin issues such as eczema, fewer childhood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphomas, and a lower risk of type I and II diabetes. They have fewer cavities and are less likely to become obese later in childhood. They have fewer speech and orthodontic problems. And really, that’s just a handful of examples.
Breastfed babies become healthier teens and adults.
As children grow into teens and adults, their risk for developing illnesses that come with age can increase. Breastfeeding helps prevent many diseases from occurring. For example, teens and adults who were breastfed are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. They are also less likely to develop heart disease, multiple sclerosis and have lower rates of pre and post-menopausal breast cancers.
Breastfeeding helps mom’s health too.
But as we mentioned at the beginning of this article, breastfeeding helps mom too. Breastfeeding burns about 500 calories a day. This means that breastfeeding help moms lose pregnancy weight faster. It also stimulates the uterus to contract and return to its normal size. Moms who breastfeed also have less postpartum bleeding, fewer urinary tract infections, and less chance of anemia.
Breastfeeding also promotes mental health in moms.
Breastfeeding helps moms on an emotional level by producing the hormones oxytocin and prolactin. Both promote stress reduction and happy feelings. Also, the physical and emotional bond between mom and baby is increased through breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is our top choice for feeding infants. As we’ve shown, there are many health benefits to both the mom and the baby. But we also understand that not every mother can breastfeed. If you are unable to breastfeed, we are here to help support you. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric providers.