Friday, May 28, 2010

What are the benefits of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has all the nutrients your baby needs to thrive for the first six months of life, and alongside other foods after this time, it's an important and healthy part of the diet.

Research shows that breastmilk has antibodies which protect against infection -- including gastroenteritis, respiratory illness, urinary infections and ear infection . In addition, it reduces the risk of childhood diabetes and leukemia.

In addition to anti-infective properties that are always there, the breastfeeding mother makes specific antibodies as soon as she comes into contact with an infection. These antibodies transfer to her milk, ready for the baby to receive as soon as he next comes to the breast.

Breastfeeding is the healthiest choice for mothers, too. There is a reduced risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer and fractures from osteoporosis.

We know that breastmilk has vital long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids which are essential in brain development. It used to be thought that breastfeeding your baby would make him more intelligent. On average, breastfed babies are more intelligent, but recent research has shown that this is more likely to be the result of social and genetic factors.

One benefit of breastfeeding that is not in doubt is that it is convenient. You have nothing to wash, sterilise or prepare. Mothers and babies enjoy it, and when it's going well, you can feel a real sense of peace and achievement to see your baby growing and developing - and it's all your own work!


Ong said...

Good job

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