It is breastfeeding awareness month!
Promoting the benefits of breastfeeding is a shared responsibility as in doing so, we not only benefit babies and mothers, but we also benefit our society.
Like everything else in modern culture, breastfeeding is a hot topic for debate; whether it is about when and where mothers should breastfeed, how long they should breastfeed, or can they breastfeed and what that means for them and their babies?
Despite the many conversations surrounding breastfeeding, the general fact is breastfeeding is the best thing for babies and mothers.
Breastfeeding awareness month seeks to promote breastfeeding and support mothers. Research shows that mothers who are supported by their partners are more likely to breastfeed than mothers who are not supported.
So, in honour of breastfeeding awareness month, here are 7 benefits of breastfeeding.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
1. Breast Milk Protects Babies Against Diseases
Besides providing the baby with nutrients, breastmilk is the babies first line of defence because it is full of antibodies that protect the baby from harmful diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, asthma and others.
2. Breastfeeding Reduces the Risk of Child Obesity
Longer breastfeeding is shown to reduce the risk of child obesity by 12 per cent.
3. Breastfeeding Keeps the Baby Healthy
Babies who are not breastfed are more likely to be hospitalized and need treatment for ear, respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.
4. Breastfeeding is Good for the Economy
Increased breastfeeding means a reduction in health treatment costs. The financial benefits of breastfeeding are clear. According to research, if 90% of babies were breastfed in the United Kingdom, China and the United States, it would save the health care systems $29.5 m, $223.6 m and $ 2.5bn respectively.
5. Breastfeeding Makes Babies Smarter
Adults who were breastfed as children score 2-5 times higher on cognitive development tests when compared to babies who were not breastfed.
6. Breastfeeding Promotes Mother/Infant Bond
The psychological benefits of breastfeeding are also evident as longer breastfeeding is linked to infant attachment and responsive mothering.
7. Breastfeeding Protects Mothers Against Breast and Ovarian Cancer
Benefits of breastfeeding statistics show that there is a higher risk associated with ovarian cancer (27%) and breast cancer (4%) for women who do not breastfeed.
Benefits of breastfeeding NHS
Benefits of breastfeeding UNICEF