Breast Feeding Benefits

Breast feeding benefits: consider the facts when you make the decision of whether or not to breastfeed your child.

Everyone hears it from someone in their lifetime -- breastfed babies are healthier. But then you may know a friend with a breastfed baby who has more ear infections than your formula-fed nephew. How in the world can such conflicting situations direct you toward your own decision?

Fact 1: Breastfed babies receive important colostrum in the first two to three days after birth. The hormones associated with delivering a baby initiate the production of colostrum in your breasts. This first milk often has a yellow color to it and is much thicker than later breastmilk that will come in. The colostrum provides valuable antibodies for your newborn. This is something that cannot be obtained in formula no matter how hard the manufacturers might try. Our bodies make the perfect substance through breastfeeding for our babies to fight infections right after they are born, and the protection provided by this early milk can last up to six months. However, breastfeeding beyond the first couple days also provides additional protection for your baby.

Fact 2: When your baby comes into contact with germs in the environment and you pick up the same bug, your body automatically produces breastmilk which fights off what you both have been exposed to. Again, this is nature's way of protecting your baby from illness while his or her immature immune system becomes accustomed to our world.

Fact 3: Research has proven that premature infants have less incidence of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) than formula-fed babies.

Fact 4: Breastfed babies do have fewer allergies. This has been repeatedly proven through scientific studies. Many moms will choose to breastfeed their babies exclusively for that reason to prevent the same allergies they have.

Fact 5: Breastfed babies do have statistically fewer ear infections and respiratory illnesses. The antibodies made in breastmilk cannot be replicated in an artificial substitute.

Fact 6: Breastfed babies have better jaw development from the sucking action on a human nipple. Because bottles offer faster flowing milk, there is less need to suck very hard. Since there is significant need for strength in the jaw to draw all the milk out of the breasts, nursing babies have superior development over bottlefed babies.

The facts and statistics are out there for anyone wanting to research it further. While formula-fed babies can be healthy as well, artificial milk simply cannot replace what nature has given women to nourish their children.

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