This question can cross the mind of a mom who’s pregnant for the first time. The answer is yes, yes, yes! Breastfeeding holds many benefits for both mom and baby. The benefits far outweigh the discomforts that Mom may face in the first few weeks of breastfeeding.
Benefits for babies. Breast milk is the best milk. It will boost a baby’s immune system and protect him from many allergies and illnesses. This can be attested to by the fact that moms can continue to breastfeed even when they’re sick, and their babies do not get sick. (Of course, moms should follow precautionary measures!)
Breastfeeding may boost a child’s intelligence as well. According to Baby Center, “Various researchers have found a connection between breastfeeding and cognitive development. In a study of more than 17,000 infants followed from birth to 6½ years, researchers concluded from IQ scores and other intelligence tests that prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding significantly improves cognitive development…. Experts say that the emotional bonding that takes place during breastfeeding probably contributes to some of the brainpower benefits, but that the fatty acids in breast milk may play the biggest role.”
Benefits for mommies. The benefits of breastfeeding for mothers are numerous. One is that breastfeeding moms heal fast after giving birth. Breastfeeding helps the uterus contract and prevents hemorrhages. Breastfeeding also helps the mom to lose her pregnancy weight, provided of course, that she also eats properly after giving birth. Studies have likewise shown that breastfeeding can help lessen the risk of moms getting breast, ovarian, or cervical cancer.
The best breastfeeding motivators of all? Think of the bonding that a breastfeeding mom can have with her baby! And another upside—breastfeeding does not cost a single centavo.
Breastfeeding does come with its share of challenges. Not breastfeeding, however, can cause more problems for both Mom and baby. So, Moms out there, take heart and breastfeed your precious little one. It will be worth all the effort.