Aug 8, 2007

Health Benefits of Breastfeeding Your Baby

Both of my children started their lives nursing, with only one "formula" feeding a day in the evening so that my husband could have the pleasure of holding his babies and feeding them.

Most parents are aware that breast milk is best for their baby, but may not be aware that the benefits of breastfeeding extend far beyond basic nutrition. In addition to containing all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of life, breast milk is packed with disease-fighting nutrients that protect your baby from illness. That's why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.

Another advantage of breastfeeding is that it's as healthy for mothers as it is for babies. Not only does lactation continue the natural physiologic process begun with conception and pregnancy, but it provides many short and long-term health benefits to the mother. The full range of benefits that breastfeeding offers are rarely emphasized in prenatal counseling by health care professionals and are all but ignored in popular parenting literature – but the latest research is quite clear and suggests that breastfeeding:

  • Protects your baby from gastrointestinal trouble, respiratory problems, and ear infections
  • Can protect your baby from developing allergies.
  • May boost your child's intelligence (I.Q.)
  • May protect against obesity later in life
  • May protect your baby from childhood leukemia
  • May protect your baby from developing type 1 diabetes
  • May protect preemies from infections and high blood pressure later in life
  • May lower your baby's risk of SIDS
  • May protect the baby against osteoporosis later in life
  • Helps the mother lose weight by burning 300 to 500 calories a day
  • Reduces stress levels and reduce postpartum bleeding
  • May reduce the mother’s risk of some types of cancer
If the “pitter patter of little feet” is in your future, we encourage you to search online for the “benefits of breastfeeding” and to get more information so that you can make a truly informed decision. Then, once your baby is ready for solid food – the Wholefood Farmacy foods offer you an easy and convenient way to continue nourishing your baby with the very best that nature has to offer.

Updated 2/3/16

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