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Benefits of Breastfeeding

Benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and the baby

For centuries, women have breastfed their offspring, initially believing it to be their only source of nourishment, and later, with the advancement of science, knowing that it is the best way to build and boost an infant’s immune system. A mother’s milk is packed with the necessary nutrients required by an infant’s developing system for strengthening immunity and all bodily functions. It helps protect a child against a number of harmful diseases and infections, promoting better growth and optimal health.

Benefits for the mother:
Many women still remain unaware of the fact that breastfeeding is not only beneficial for the child, but for the mother as well. According to a number of internationally recognized and published reports, it has been revealed that breastfeeding can effectively reduce a mother’s stress level, thus help her calm down. High levels of stress are directly related to elevated blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and breastfeeding an infant can help relieve it naturally, without medical intervention. Nursing a child is known to release a hormone called oxytocin; this hormone is responsible for relaxing the nervous system and relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression. Studies have also shown that women who breastfeed their children for a longer duration are less likely to develop a number of cancers.

Benefits for the child:
A child that is breastfed milk naturally develops immunity against various allergies that a developing system may otherwise be prone to. Mother’s milk is the only known natural source of Immune Factor IgA that equips a child with immunity to combat allergy causing germs. Children that are fed infant formulae instead of natural mother’s milk are more likely to develop diseases and allergies during infancy. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, breast milk also prevents the development of obesity in children as it is a balanced source of nutrition. Children that have been breastfed during infancy are less likely to become overweight or obese as they grow older, thus keeping a number of obesity-related medical conditions at bay naturally. Natural milks also significantly improves a child’s ability to think, and his/her overall cognitive development; this includes a better memory, better analyzing powers, better problem solving skills and overall, remarkable intelligence.

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