Why should I breastfeed?
Here are just some of the many good reasons why you should breastfeed your baby:
- Breast milk is the most complete form of nutrition for infants. Breast milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein that is needed for a baby’s growth and development. Most babies find it easier to digest breast milk than they do formula.
- There are health risks to your baby if you do not breastfeed. Breast milk has agents (called antibodies) in it to help protect infants from bacteria and viruses. Babies who are not exclusively breastfed for 6 months are more likely to develop a wide range of infections diseases including ear infections, diarrhea, and
respiratory illnesses. They are sick more often and have more doctor’s visits. Infants who are not breastfed have a 21% higher postneonatal infant mortality rate in the U.S.
- Breastfed babies score higher on IQ tests in childhood, especially babies who were born prematurely.
- Nursing uses up extra calories, making it easier to lose the pounds of pregnancy. It also helps the uterus to get back to its original size and lessens any bleeding you might have after giving birth.
- Breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancers and possibly the risk of hip fractures and osteoporosis after menopause.
- Breastfeeding can help you bond with your baby. Physical contact is important to newborns and can help them feel more secure, warm and comforted.