Breastfeeding carries a string of long-term benefits for you and your baby. Apart from helping with growth and development, it’s essential for defending your little one against many illnesses. It’s no wonder why the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding during a child’s first six months.
Breastfeeding may no doubt be uncomfortable and painful at times, but here’s five reasons why it’s totally worth it.
1) It defends your baby against a range of health issues
Breast milk is laden with antibodies that ward off viruses and harmful bacteria. Global studies have shown that breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from stomach viruses, lower respiratory illnesses, ear infections, and meningitis. It also reduces the risk of asthma or allergies.
2) It may boost your child’s intelligence
Studies have reported a positive association between exclusive breastfeeding and cognitive development. This added benefit may be due to the maternal bonding that occurs during breastfeeding, or the fatty acids present in breastmilk.
3) There’s health benefits for nursing mothers too
By releasing the hormone oxytocin, breastfeeding helps the uterus to return to its normal size and can even prevent uterine bleeding. Breastfeeding mothers are also less likely to suffer from breast and ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
4) It builds your bond with your little one
Breastmilk contains the maternal hormones prolactin and oxytocin, which help to reduce stress, anxiety and depression in the mother, as well as psychological problems in children. Both hormones are known to make a mother’s attachment with her baby more secure, which increases maternal bonding.
5) It burns calories
Bogged down by the extra weight you put on? You’ll be glad to know that breastfeeding burns as many as 500 extra calories per day, helping you to lose all that pregnancy weight faster.
If you have any concerns about breastfeeding, or simply seeking advice, you can now video call lactation consultants (LC) on demand through our mobile app. All LCs on our platform are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultants (IBLC), and are sensitive to you and your baby’s needs.