I’ve talked about how slings help to make breastfeeding much easier, but if you’re an expecting parent and are looking for information, take 5 minutes to have a read of our blog.
As you’d expect, it is generally considered that “breast is best”, and the World Health Organisation recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months of your baby’s life.
The benefits for your baby are:
- Improved immune system: When breastfeeding, the mother passes antibodies on to her baby through her milk and this helps to boost the baby’s defences against illness.
- Fewer infections: Many studies have shown that when breastfed, babies have a much lower chance of developing infections, such as inner ear or chest infections.
- Less chance of sudden infant death syndrome: This is most likely to occur as your baby wakes, and as breastfed babies wake up better, a study showed that breastfeeding nearly halved the risk of this syndrome.
- Lower chance of diabetes: Breastfeeding helps to protect against Type 1 diabetes, as well as Type 2 by reducing the chance of childhood obesity.
- Less childhood obesity: This is linked to the fact that bottle-fed babies are taught to only stop feeding when the bottle is empty rather than when they are full, a behaviour which carries into later life and may lead to obesity.
- Reduction in allergies: If the close family of an infant (Parent or siblings) have an allergy, breastfeeding exclusively can help to prevent or delay that allergy developing for the baby.
- There are also studies that show that breastfeeding can help to reduce chances of asthma, breast cancer and heart disease, as well as breastfed babies being better able to handle stress in adult life.
Benefits for the mother are:
- Better bonding: Breastfeeding your baby can help strengthen the bond between mother and child, as well as across the family by helping support the mother. Also, some parents say that breastfed babies are often calmer and more relaxed.
- Hormone release: Breastfeeding releases oxytocin and prolactin, which help you to relax and closer to your child as well as contracting your uterus and reducing bleeding.
- Weight loss: Due to changes in your body that breastfeeding brings about, it can help you to lose weight after giving birth, but this can vary wildly.
- Also, breastfeeding can reduce your chance of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer.
This is not an exhaustive list, for you or your baby, so speak to your midwife or GP for more information. There are also plenty of support forums and such on the internet, or why not speak to other mums over on our Facebook page? Breastfeeding is enjoying a surge in popularity in the UK at the moment, so you can be sure that there is plenty of support available.