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Is Breast Feeding Beneficial for Both Mother and Child?


This is a personal lifestyle choice that lots of parents do not wish anyone to dictate, but if experts weigh in, they recommend that breastfeeding is an ideal option as it can be beneficial for both mother and child. Ultimately the decision to breastfeed is up to the new mother and her child. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both recommend that newborns should be breastfed.

Every new parent wants to make the best decision when it comes to an infant’s health, therefore it is necessary to listen to what the doctors are suggesting.

Benefits for the Mother

Breastfeeding can make it easier to lose those stubborn pregnancy pounds. Doctors encourage breastfeeding because it helps lower estrogen levels resulting in reduced risk of ovarian, uterine and breast cancer. It can also lessen postpartum anxiety and depression. Diseases that affect bone health in later ages, like osteoporosis, are less likely to occur in women who breastfeed their infants. Doctors recommend that the newborn should be breastfed during the first six months of its life. Some of the benefits are:

· Less chance of developing breast cancer
· The release of the hormone oxytocin, acts as a natural relaxant for the mother
· Reduced risk of ovarian and uterine cancer
· Lowers the chances of developing a debilitating bone disease, osteoporosis
· A natural means of child spacing
· Promotes mental and emotional health
· Makes postpartum weight loss easier
· Costs less to breastfeed

Benefits for the Baby

Breast milk is the ideal form of nutrition for an infant. It contains the right mix of fats, proteins, and vitamins that a newborn human requires. This natural sustenance can prove to be a much better option than the synthetic formula. Baby formula is not easily digested by infants, whereas the breast milk is easily digested and contains disease-fighting substances. Breast feeding has been shown to boost IQ scores of the child, according to some studies. The long-term benefits include decrease in diabetes risk and obesity later on in life. The mental benefits include a stronger mother-child bond, helping the baby feel more secure and safe. The connectedness make the child more stable and less prone to crying. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to develop allergies. Infants can develop healthy and natural eating patterns when their mothers breastfeed them, which can lower the chances of developing obesity later on in life.