Whether due to work commitments or health problems, extenuating circumstances can limit the time a mother has available to nurse her child. Nevertheless, short-term breastfeeding can benefit the child tremendously, even when supplemented with baby formula or solid foods. That’s why it’s recommended for new moms to try their best to nurse for at least the first six months of life and can continue for up to two years if possible. While the decision to nurse or use baby formula is a personal choice and a mother’s prerogative, there’s no shortage of evidence that praises the benefits of nursing for both mom and baby.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to breastfeed your baby, here are a few reasons why you should:
5 Reasons Why Nursing Is Better for Your Baby
It’s easier for your baby to digest breast milk
While babies need protein to develop, the high levels of this nutrient in cow’s milk can be detrimental to infant health.
Formula-fed babies consume excessive amounts of protein that can cause maladies like stomach aches and bulky stools.
On the other hand, breastmilk offers the perfect combination of nutrients for your baby’s development.
This includes an easily digestible protein that they can fully absorb and use.
According to HealthyChildren.org, Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months has also been shown to protect against the development of respiratory tract infections, vomiting, and diarrhea.
It’s safe and convenient.
With breastmilk, you don’t have to worry about sterilizing bottles, regulating liquid temperature, or keeping the milk fresh.
Your body is designed to do all of these things so that milk supply is available to your baby whenever he needs it.
So long as mother and baby are willing, you can breastfeed anywhere and at any time, knowing that you’re giving your baby a safe form of nutrition.
Since there’s no preparation involved, your baby doesn’t have to wait for the milk to “get ready.”
It has all the nutrients your baby needs.
We all know that a healthy immune system leads to a healthy life. In addition to providing your child with all of the essential nutrients she needs, breastmilk offers antibodies that make it easier to fight off bacteria and viruses.
Breastmilk has also been shown to reduce the chances of developing allergies, ear infections, asthma, and other conditions requiring a doctor visit.
It might make your baby smarter.
A 2015 long-term study (PLOS) suggests that exclusive breastfeeding can lead to a slightly higher IQ when compared to formula feeding.
Nursing gives your child the headstart she needs to explore the world around her and experience healthy cognitive development.
The skin-to-skin contact and physical intimacy required when breastfeeding creates a feeling of security and belonging between mother and child.
This helps your baby feel safe and protected to grow up to become confident and self-assured as they grow up.
Ancient wisdom has always asserted the importance of breastfeeding.
But, it is now a science-backed fact that nursing offers far superior nutrition benefits for your child than any other substitute.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nursing for six months after birth will give your child the headstart he needs to experience optimal health later on in life.
If possible, this is followed by a measured introduction of solid foods in conjunction with nursing.
Along with the pediatric community, UNICEF agrees that breastmilk supports the baby’s mental and physical growth.
While breast is best, some women prefer to formula feed their baby, which’s okay.