10 Benefits of Breastmilk You Didn’t Know About
If you are newly pregnant or approaching your due date, you are likely weighing the benefits of breast and formula feeding. Besides well-known benefits of breastmilk, here are ten science-based benefits of breastfeeding.
Offers Healthy Skin
Many pediatricians say that they can touch the infant’s skin and tell whether the baby is formula-fed or breastfed. Breastfed babies often have nicer and smoother skin than formula-fed babies.
On the other hand, formula-fed babies may have rougher skin with sandpapery patches. Studies found that the subcutaneous fat in formula-fed and breastfed infants has a different composition.
Breastmilk has unique immune factors that ward off potential allergic reactions to food. It forms a protective coating around the baby’s intestine and keeps inflammation and allergies in check.
These natural antibodies are not found in soy, cow’s milk, or any other formula. Babies who are not breastfed are relatively more likely to develop asthma and allergies.
Protects Mothers from MS
Multiple sclerosis is a common autoimmune disease. It affects our central nervous system. Breastfeeding could have protective effects against this sometimes disease.
According to a study from the American Academy of Neurology, mothers who breastfeed for 15+ months are 53% less likely to suffer from MS.
Reduce Disease Risk
Breastfeeding may reduce the baby’s risk of developing many diseases and illnesses. These diseases include middle ear infections, respiratory tract infections, and gut infections.
Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from illnesses (intestinal tissue damage, diabetes, childhood leukemia and celiac disease) when compared to formula-fed babies.
May Improve Children Intelligence
Researchers report the brain development may be different between formula-fed and breastfed babies. The difference is primarily attributed to physical intimacy, eye contact, and touch associated with breastfeeding.
Breastfed babies tend to have higher intelligence scores. Also, they are less likely to develop behavioral and learning problems as they grow older.
Related: What are Inverted Nipples?
Helps the Uterus Contract
During pregnancy, the uterus expands its size from that of a pear to filling the entire abdomen space. After delivery, it undergoes a process called involution.
Involution helps the uterus return to its standard size. Oxytocin hormone helps drive this process. Women's bodies secrete a high amount of Oxytocin during breastfeeding. It reduces bleeding by uterine contractions so that the uterus returns to its previous size.
Researchers report that mothers who breastfeed have a faster involution process.
May Prevent Mother's Menstruation
Breastfeeding pauses ovulation and menstruation. This delay ensures that there is some gap between pregnancies. Mom can also enjoy valuable time with their newborn without worrying about a monthly menstrual period.
May Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer
A study conducted by the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors revealed that breastfeeding women have a lower risk of breast cancer. The study compared breastfeeding mothers to mothers who didn't breastfeed, to reach this conclusion.
Save Trips to Dentists
Reportedly, breastfeeding prevents tooth decay in babies. It also lowers the potential risk of cavities and needing teeth bracing in the future.
Saves Time and Money
Breastfeeding is completely free. By choosing to breastfeed, you save money on formula-fed milk. You can spend more valuable time with your baby, instead of cleaning and sterilizing bottles constantly.
Don't worry if you are unable to breastfeed. Best-quality formulas are safe and provide you and the baby with all the required nutrients.
However, breastmilk has irresistible benefits, both for the mother and the baby. Plus, it gives you quality time to bond with your newborn.