The most important thing you can do to promote your newborn’s good health is free. Breast milk is a powerhouse of nutrition for your new baby and will save you money. No need to buy formula. Another money saver is lower medical bills as most breast fed babies get sick less frequently and less seriously than formula fed infants. Less ear infections and respiratory infections make a happier baby and mother.
Containing all the right vitamins and minerals your infant needs, breast milk is truly a superstar. Scientists keep trying to create the perfect synthetic replica of human breast milk for infants, and keep falling short. There are hundreds of compounds that support brain growth, digestion and the immune system while others fight infections that science simply cannot copy. And in the search for creating these scientific replications scientists are continually learning just how perfect breast milk is for babies.
Some of the long term benefits of breast feeding your baby include a reduced risk of obesity, allergies, asthma and some forms of childhood cancer. Studies are even proving that breast fed babies tend to be smarter than infants fed with formula.
Surprisingly breast feeding is also beneficial for the mother. Breast feeding releases hormones that help the mother’s uterus shrink back to normal size while also curbing blood loss after delivery. Another advantage of breast feeding is the burning of calories. Not only are you shedding baby weight faster, but you are creating a very special bond with your child. One of the long term advantages includes a lower risk for premenopausal breast cancer. Benefits begin to show within three to six months of breast feeding and will gradually increase when breast feeding is continued.
With the importance of breast feeding on an infant's life it's surprising that "globally less than 40% of infants under six months of age are exclusively breastfed." (World Health Organization)