In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, we’re sharing ten benefits of breastfeeding. Let’s dig in…
1. Increases protection from illness
The cells, hormones and antibodies found in breast milk help protect your baby from illness. Research from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that breastfed babies have lower risks of the following:
- Leukemia (during childhood)
- Obesity (during childhood)
- Ear infections
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Lower respiratory infections
- Type 2 diabetes
2. Lowers the risk of chronic illnesses
Breastfeeding your baby also reduces the risk that she’ll develop chronic illnesses such as, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.
3. Breast milk is adaptable
Another amazing thing about breast milk is that it changes as your baby grows. You start off with nutrient and antibody-rich colostrum, which then transitions into mature milk. And that mature milk will adjust to meet your baby’s changing needs.
4. It’s cost-effective
Two words: no formula. That, by itself, is a huge cost-saver. (In the ballpark of $1,600 to $5,800 per year!)
5. Breastfeeding burns calories… a lot of calories
If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you can expect to burn around 400 calories per day. Which is roughly equivalent to running four miles.
6. Aids with postpartum healing
Breastfeeding releases oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its normal size more quickly than if you don’t breastfeed. (About six weeks versus ten weeks.)
7. Increases the effectiveness of vaccines
Research has shown that breastfed babies have a more effective antibody response to vaccines than formula-fed babies.
8. It can delay menstruation
Exclusively breastfeeding your baby (sans bottles or formula) will delay ovulation and menstruation. Many breastfeeding mamas can go six months to a year before their periods return.
9. Provides health benefits for you, too
Research shows that breastfeeding mothers have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, certain types of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
10. It’s friendly to Mama Earth
Formula cans and bottle supplies create excess trash. By breastfeeding, you are tapping into a renewable resource that doesn’t have a carbon footprint.
Want to read more about breastfeeding? Check out 5 Things I Wish I Would Have Known About Breastfeeding and 10 Must-Have Breastfeeding Accessories and Tools.
*At Owlet, we’re advocates of you making the best choices for your situation. So, while this post celebrates the benefits of breastfeeding, we acknowledge that fed is always best. Please make the best choice for you, and don’t feel guilty! Ultimately, you know what will work best for your family.*