Health Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mum and Baby

Breastfeeding provides your baby with the best start in life. Research shows that many of the benefits are life long. Feeding your baby breast milk exclusively for the first six months offers the most benefit. Should you only be able to feed your baby for a short time, any amount is good for your baby.

Benefits

Breastfeeding reduces the risk of:

  • gastro-intestinal infection
  • respiratory infections
  • necrotising enterocolitis
  • urinary tract infections
  • ear infections
  • allergic disease (eczema and wheezing)
  • insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
  • sudden infant death syndrome
  • childhood leukaemia.

Breastfed babies may have better:

  • neurological development.

More research is needed but breastfeeding may also provide protection for the infant against:

  • multiple sclerosis
  • acute appendicitis
  • tonsillectomy
  • for the mother
  • rheumatoid arthritis.

And for the mother, protection against:

  • rheumatoid arthritis.

Women who have breastfed are at lower risk of:

  • breast cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • hip fractures and bone density.

Other studies related to health and breastfeeding include:strong>

  • Cardiovascular disease in later life
  • Breastfeeding, bed sharing and cot death
  • Breastfeeding and HIV transmission
  • Breastfeeding and dental health.

Myth:

Artificial milk is almost the same as breast milk

Exploding the Myth:

Not true!

Every correction of a deficiency in artificial milk is advertised as an advance. Artificial milk contain no antibodies, no living cells, no enzymes, no hormones. They contain much more aluminum, manganese, cadmium, lead and iron than breast milk. They contain significantly more protein than breast milk. The proteins and fats are different from those in breast milk. Formulas do not vary from the beginning of the feed to the end of the feed, or from day 1 to day 7 to day 30, or from woman to woman, Your breast milk is made by you to suit your baby. Artificial milk is made to suit every baby and thus no baby.

Breastfeeding information for parents