Benefits of Breastfeeding

When it comes to being pregnant, women receive an overwhelming number of “tips” for how to eat, limit weight gain, and enjoy pregnancy. There are thousands of pieces of advice and an array of options. But when it comes to feeding your baby after you’ve given birth there are only two options available: breastfeeding and formula feeding.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breastfeeding is on the rise in America. Marietta obstetricians and pediatricians now understand the numerous benefits of breastfeeding and are encouraging their patients to breastfeed. Numerous studies have proven that the benefits of breastfeeding simply cannot be matched by infant formula.

Breastfeeding protects babies:

  • Early breast milk, known as colostrum, is very rich in antibodies and nutrients that protect infants from illnesses and diseases.
  • Breast milk changes as babies grow. Something that science simply cannot manufacture is how breast milk changes to meet the needs of babies as they continue to grow. Breast milk changes in fat, sugar, and protein content to provide all the nutrients and antibodies that babies need.
  • Breast milk is easier to digest than formula, and is therefore easier on babies’ digestive systems.
  • Breast milk fights infections and diseases. The protection babies receive from breast milk cannot be matched in chemically compounded formula.

Mothers benefit from breastfeeding:

  • While breastfeeding takes adjusting to, once a routine is set breastfeeding is typically much easier than bottle-feeding. There are no bottles and nipples to sterilize. Milk is readily available without having to remember to pack bottles and formula. There are no bottles to warm, so when babies are hungry they can be satisfied right away.
  • Formula alone can cost well over $1500 a year, so breastfeeding is a great way for parents to save money.
  • Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and postpartum depression.

When it comes time to decide how you will feed your baby, take breastfeeding into serious consideration. Whether you stay at home fully with your baby or work outside of the home, making breastfeeding work for you can benefit yourself and your baby in ways that nothing else can.

Posted on behalf of Carlos Alarcon, M.D., Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.

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