Ten benefits of breastfeeding your baby
“The research and evidence are compelling and overwhelming. Breastfeeding is far superior for mother and baby,” says RN Kelly Matijcio, Lead Lactation Consultant at The Scarborough Hospital.
“New moms know that breastfeeding is good for their baby but they don’t know the immense difference between breast and formula feeding and how artificial and inferior formula is to mother’s own milk. Breastfeeding is normal,” she says. “Breastfeeding should be called ‘breast-nurturing’ as many of the benefits of breastfeeding have nothing to do with the milk.”
Here are some of the breastfeeding benefits Kelly shares with her patients:
- Research shows children who were breastfed have stronger academic performance and score higher on I.Q. tests. Breast milk builds a baby’s brain with special ingredients that formula does not have.
- Breastfed babies communicate with their mother’s stronger immune system and as a result, breast milk contains standard and tailored antibodies that help prevent and cure illness.
- Breast milk is all natural and species specific which means it works best because it is made by a human mother for a human baby.
- Breastfed babies have normal oral facial development and smile sooner.
- Breastfed babies cry less than babies who are not breastfed and experience far less colic because breast milk is easier to digest.
- Breastfeeding is environmentally friendly. Breastfed babies have less output and dirty fewer diapers.
- Breastfeeding is free and breastfed babies are not dependent on a clean water supply. In an emergency, clean, nourishing, protective milk will always be available.
- Breastfeeding is more than just feeding, it is a baby’s first relationship of love and trust. Breastfeeding builds a strong bond between a mother and her child. That bond enables the baby to build strong bonds with others throughout life.
- Some of the immune properties that a mother gives to her baby by breastfeeding can last and protect the baby over his or her entire lifespan, long after breastfeeding ends.
- Mothering is enhanced by breastfeeding and the hormones that drive the breastfeeding relationship, promoting the mother’s desire to love, touch, hold and feed her baby. Mothers who breastfeed, according to research, are also less likely to develop breast cancer, ovarian cancer and weak bones.