Dr. Sandro Cantoni. Pediatrician.
Reading time: 3 minutes
Breast milk is a living meal that is unique and complete, providing the infant with sufficient water and nutrition fast. Mother’s milk is always available, ready to consume, at the correct temperature, at any time, and in any place.
Thus, it does not represent a cost, as it is “free.” Moreover, it has the characteristic of being absorbed and digested very quickly by babies. Therefore, drinking breast milk offers the baby many advantages, which you can find in this article.
The benefits of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is an excellent investment in the health of your baby.
Thanks to its properties, maternal milk can promote the correct development of the child and protect them from many diseases.
It is now internationally agreed that breastfeeding for the baby:
improves sight and psychomotor development.
Reduces the risk of diabetes and cancers of the lymphatic system.
Improves intestinal development.
Contributes to a better conformation of the mouth.
Protects against otitis.
Reduces the incidence and duration of gastroenteritis.
Protects against respiratory infections.
Reduces the risk of developing allergies, like asthma.
Decreases the risk of eczema.
Protects against the development of obesity in adolescence.
Reduces the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
What are the benefits of breastfeeding for the mother?
Breast milk is readily available, requires no preparation, and is always on hand.
It’s also true that breastfeeding can help you lose weight after childbirth. Breastfeeding eliminates some of the fat stored during pregnancy, allowing you to lose weight at a pace that is comfortable for your body. Don’t be concerned if it takes a long time to lose weight; as your baby grows and needs more milk, your body will need some of that fat.
Not only does breastfeeding benefit the baby, but it also has advantages for the mother. Because it encourages the synthesis of oxytocin, the “happy hormone” that helps uteruses return to their pre-pregnancy size, nursing creates a special connection between mother and child. Breastfeeding can also aid in lowering the incidence of breast and ovarian cancer.
Breastfeeding is critical for premature infants.
Premature infants benefit more from breastfeeding than any other newborns. It is not only a source of nutrition for them, but it is also the first mechanism of immunological defense.
Especially in the first weeks, the baby needs to breastfeed several times, even at night. On average, the newborn baby feeds 8-12 times in 24 hours, at intervals that are not always regular. However, since the production of milk starts when the baby begins to suck, it is not necessary to wait for the breast to fill up between meals.
Breastfeeding has many benefits for both the mother and child. It is a natural way to provide the baby with all of the nutrients they need, as well as antibodies that help protect them from disease. Breastfeeding also helps mothers lose weight after childbirth and can reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Thanks to its many advantages, breastfeeding is an excellent choice for mothers and their children.
About the author
Hi. My name is Sandro Cantoni. I’m a Pediatrician. I work in the General Pediatric Clinic. Hospital of Neuchatel, Switzerland.
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Department of Health and Human Service Office on Women’s Health. Benefits of breastfeeding. Nutr Clin Care. 2003 Oct-Dec;6(3):125-31
Dieterich CM, Felice JP, O’Sullivan E, Rasmussen KM. Breastfeeding and health outcomes for the mother-infant dyad. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013;60(1):31-48.
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