Breastfeeding undoubtedly has a huge array of benefits for both mother and baby. As a midwife, I get asked a lot about specific research-based benefits, so here are some of our favorites!
Lowers risk of SIDS
There is much research to say that babies who are breastfed or fed breastmilk have lower rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, how incredible!
Decreases bubs risk of food allergies later in life
This is another super interesting finding of breastfeeding. Having a child with a severe allergy can be incredibly scary, however, breastfed babies have fewer food allergies later in life.
Bonding between mum and bub
Each time you breastfeed, your body releases the hormone of love ‘oxytocin’. Breastfeeding generally requires skin on skin as well which we know helps to bond with mum & baby. It can take some time to feel a strong connection with your baby, it’s not always instant but breastfeeding can help this.
Perfectly curated for your baby's needs!
As your baby grows and encounters different life events like teething or even their first cold, your body produces milk especially for your baby and their needs. Breastmilk quite literally changes and adapts to suit your baby's needs perfectly! Amazing.
Accessible anytime at the perfect temperature
No need to take bottles, sterilizers, formula, teats, sterilized water, and bags- milk on tap at the perfect temperature (body temperature). This makes for a lot less washing, cleaning and sterilising.
Good for the environment, no wastage & free!
Nothing required means no wastage which is amazing for our planet. Breastfeeding is also free. Mothers require a small number of extra calories in a day, but apart from the slight increase in food- it’s free! Formula feeding for the first year of a baby's life can equate to roughly $1500-2000 AUD which adds up fast.
Lower risk of certain cancers for mother
Breastfeeding reduces a mother's risk of ovarian and breast cancer by a huge amount. The length of time that a woman breastfeeds is associated with a decrease in risk. Here is some more research on that if you are interested!
There are so many more amazing benefits, what are some of your favorites?
Incredible image by the gorgeous @gypsynspice