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Benefits of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is when the baby feeds on breast milk, usually directly from the breast. It’s also called nursing. Exclusive breastfeeding is encouraged (no formula, juice, or water) for 6 months. After the introduction of other foods, it is recommended to continue breastfeeding through the baby’s first year of life.

Breast milk provides all the nutrition your baby needs for the first six months of life. No additional food or water is recommended, so it makes feeding your baby easy. Your breast milk contains the perfect blend of nutrients, fat, and protein for your baby to grow at just the right rate. As time passes and your baby grows, your milk changes to meet the new nutritional requirements. For example, your first milk is high in fat with less water but at three months of age, your milk has less fat and more water. Breastfed babies also have fewer illnesses. The rates of ear infections, respiratory problems, asthma, and allergies are lower in breastfed babies. There is a strong connection between breastfeeding and a healthy immune system. You will pass your antibodies to your baby through your breast milk, giving your baby a head start in fighting off infections. Breast milk also makes a protective coating inside your baby’s stomach to keep germs from taking hold.

Breastfeeding benefits for the mother include; Promoting faster weight loss after birth, burning about 500 extra calories a day to build and maintain a milk supply, Stimulating the uterus to contract and return to normal size, Less postpartum bleeding, Fewer urinary tract infections, Less chance of anemia, Less risk of postpartum depression and more positive mood.

Breastfeeding saves you time and money since you don’t have to buy and measure formula, sterilize nipples, or warm bottles. It also gives you regular time to relax quietly with your newborn as you bond.

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