Newborn babies and infants require essential nutrients to keep the body functional, healthy, and strong. For this reason, most doctors recommend breastfeeding as breast milk contains antibodies to help fight off viruses and bacteria.
More importantly, breastfeeding is an intimate bonding between the mother and the baby, improving the neurodevelopment altogether. It’s a beautiful thing, providing the best composition of nutrients from the mother’s own body.
The journey to breastfeeding isn’t easy and mothers need dedication to proper diet and nutrition. This article touches on the baby benefits of breastfeeding and how it helps both the mother and the newborn baby or infant.
5 Benefits of Breast Milk for the Baby
Provides Essential Nutrients
As said, babies can get all essential nutrients from breast milk. Doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding for up to six months or much longer to attend to the baby’s changing needs.
In the first few days, the breast produces a thick and yellowish fluid that’s high in protein. This fluid called colostrum is a wonder formula that helps with a newborn’s immature digestive system.
All in all, breast milk contains all the nutrients that babies need to grow. This magic milk also protects newborns from acquiring diseases and bacteria.
Studies also show that babies who are breastfed exclusively for six months without formula get fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and diarrhea. Breastfed babies also have fewer trips to the doctor because they are healthy.
Reduces Risk of Diseases
The breastmilk produced by the mother is loaded with antibodies to help fight off viruses and bacteria. Newborn babies are critical to acquiring these diseases, especially in the early months.
Because some body systems are still developing, newborns tend to be fragile and prone to infections. Some of the common infections that newborn babies can get are colds, gut infections, intestinal tissue damage, and respiratory tract infections.
They are also prone to middle ear infections and allergic responses. Often times, babies also have problems with their bowel movement, and even lead to ulcerative colitis.
With breastfeeding, babies can get a protective and balanced immune system to fight off the mentioned diseases. They can even avoid the risk of having asthma and other types of allergies.
Promotes Healthy Weight
Studies show the importance of breastfeeding in maintaining a child’s healthy weight. Exclusive breastfeeding longer than four months reveals a significant reduction in babies developing overweight or obesity.
The reason for this is that magic milk contains higher amounts of beneficial gut bacteria that influence fat storage. In addition, the mother’s milk has more leptin, a key hormone in regulating a baby’s appetite.
More reason for this is that mothers can self regulate milk intake. Babies stop feeding when they’re already satisfied, hence, developing healthy eating patterns.
For mothers, breastfeeding can help get rid of pregnancy weight faster because of the hormone oxytocin. This helps the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size.
Makes Babies Smarter
Breastfed babies are significantly smarter according to research. This is because it provides positive effects on brain development. In addition, physical intimacy such as touch and eye contact enhances the development of the brain.
It was found out that those who were breastfed for the first 12 months had a higher IQ than those who were fed with formula milk.
The underlying reason for this is the presence of a long-chain of saturated fatty acids found in breast milk, one that’s essential for brain development.
Sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS is an unfortunate situation involving the death of an infant. It occurs during sleep and is usually associated with defects in an infant’s brain. SIDS is common among newborn babies below 12 months old.
Because breastfeeding provides a calming state for the baby, they get high-quality sleep. This reduces SIDS because of the organized sleep and wake cycles, resulting in the sensitivity of the breastfeeding pair.
A lot of moms can vouch for how beneficial breast milk is for newborns and infants. More than the nutrition, the bonding shared by mother and child can positively affect brain function and development.
The magic milk produced by mothers also protects babies from viruses and bacteria and prevents diseases. Overall, breastfeeding is beneficial for babies because it’s loaded with essential nutrients.