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Breastfeeding is one of the most discussed topics in the birth world, and the reality is, there is a lot to talk about! Everyone seems to agree that breastfeeding your child is the single most beneficial thing you can do for your child, and researchers are continually finding more and more evidence to support that.
Benefits of breastfeeding for newborns:
Strengthens baby’s immune system
Reduces gastrointestinal issues
Reduces chances of hearing loss
Lowers chances of SIDS
Reduces chances of allergies
Reduces chances of serious illness later in life such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, certain cancers, Crohn's disease, colitis, and diabetes
Again, the research is only growing. This is just the tip of the iceberg! Did you know breastfeeding benefits mom, too?
Benefits of breastfeeding for new parents:
Reduces risk of UTI
Lessens chances of anemia
Reduces postpartum depression
May expedite weight loss post-delivery
Encourages the uterus to contract back to normal size
Releases “feel good” hormones like oxytocin and prolactin, which can ease stress
Creates strong emotional and chemical bonds between parent and child
Studies have also found that parents who breastfed their children had a lower risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, osteoporosis, diabetes, and hypertension later in life.
Why is it called baby's “perfect” food?
For the first 6 months, your breastmilk contains everything your baby needs for nutrition in perfect proportions. In fact, as your baby's needs change, so does your milk. Breastmilk also contains necessary antibodies to help fight viruses and bacteria. Your body adjusts to baby’s nutritional and health needs without you even noticing! There is no exact replica for the breastmilk your body creates for your baby.
What is colostrum?
Colostrum is a thick yellow fluid high in protein and low in sugar that comes out of the breast the first few days after giving birth. Some pregnant people may notice colostrum leaking from their breasts prior to birth or during labor. It is without a doubt some of the most precious food you can give your baby. Colostrum, sometimes called “magic milk,” helps develop the baby's delicate digestive tract. After a few days, your regular milk will kick in. If you choose to use formula for whatever reason, we suggest breastfeeding until your colostrum transitions to milk.
What if I have a hard time breastfeeding?
It is not uncommon for new parents to experience difficulty while breastfeeding. Read our article on Lactation Support, and see if hiring a Birthify Coach with lactation experience is the right move for you!
Related Article: Lactation Support
We understand the resistance and hesitation some parents might feel towards breastfeeding. If you're on the fence, we would love to help you decide what is best for your body. Birthify Coaches are compassionate and non-judgmental people ready and willing to support you on your unique journey.
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