Even though it is common for mothers to feed their baby with formula because of convenience, there are many benefits of breastfeeding that should be considered before you make that decision. Formula can provide your baby with nutrition; however there are health benefits that cannot be gained by consuming processed formula products.
One of the benefits of breastfeeding is that it helps a baby to fight off infections and avoid sickness. Antibodies from the mother are passed to the baby through the breast milk, and those antibodies work to protect the baby from infections, viruses, flu, colds, and any other harmful diseases. Babies that are fed with formula are not able to access these antibodies from their mother.
Sometimes, a baby may be allergic to the ingredients that are found in the formula. So, several benefits of breastfeeding include the fact that the baby is less likely to get conditions that are allergy related. Some of these allergy related health conditions include eczema and asthma.
Several benefits of breastfeeding are focused on the development of the child. When a baby is fed with breast milk, they are receiving long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids actually work to assist in brain development and improve the cognitive development of the baby. It has been suggested that breastfed babies actually have a higher IQ than babies fed with formula.
Social development is also improved in breastfed babies, and studies have shown that children have a better capacity to handle social situations as they grow older. These are just a few of the benefits of breastfeeding relating to development and intelligence, research has shown that there are many other benefits that can be gained when a baby consumes breast milk.
Even though there are many benefits of breastfeeding for the baby, there are also many ways that the mother benefits as well. For example, it has been found that breastfeeding helps to reduce the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis in the mother.
Breastfeeding also helps the mother with her mental and physical well being immediately after the pregnancy. When a woman feeds her baby with breast milk, the rates of postpartum depression decreases and they are less likely to have anxiety. Additionally, the mother is able to lose the pregnancy weight more easily and reach her pre-pregnancy weight more quickly.
As you can see there are many benefits of breastfeeding that should be considered. Some women are unable to breastfeed because of specific circumstances in their life. However, breastfeeding should be used whenever possible because it improves the health of both the mother and baby.