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Family Nutrition

Breastfeeding Benefits

If you could find a way to reduce your child’s risk of developing debilitating illnesses and childhood obesity, wouldn’t you grab at that chance? Breastfeeding is just that opportunity. 

The health advantages associated with breastfeeding compared to formula-feeding are staggering and include giving infants a lower risk of:

  • Ear infections
  • Gastroenteritis and diarrhea
  • Severe lower respiratory infections
  • Asthma
  • Sudden infant death syndrome
  • Childhood obesity

Beyond the benefits to babies, breastfeeding also helps the mother’s health and healing after childbirth by lowering risks of type 2 diabetes, certain types of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. 
The plusses keep piling up when you factor in the cost of formula, which can add well over $1,500/year to your food budget. And because breastfed babies are sick less often too, the cost of medical care is reduced with this natural feeding plan.

But there are other reasons too why breastfeeding has never gone out of fashion:

  • Once you and your baby settle into a routine, your life is simpler when you breastfeed: No bottles and nipples to sterilize, no formula to measure and mix, no bottles to warm in the middle of the night, no waiting to satisfy your baby’s hunger.
  • The close physical contact of breastfeeding helps newborns feel secure and comforted. And that contact also helps moms by boosting your levels of oxytocin, a hormone that helps breast milk flow and you relax.
  • Babies don’t need to adjust to breast milk like they may to formula, which can be harder for them to digest.
  • Note: Very rarely, babies are born unable to tolerate milk of any kind, even their mother’s milk. In those cases and some other medical ones, formula may be a life-saving option.
Talk to your doctor or other medical professionals about breastfeeding and how to give your baby a healthier start in life.

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