How breastfeeding benefits your baby
The following list sums up the main benefits of breastfeeding for your baby. There are some very compelling reasons why leading health organisations including the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that mothers breastfeed exclusively for the first six months and continue to feed their babies breast milk in addition to solid foods for the first two years.
- Breast milk contains everything your baby needs: proteins, fats, lactose, vitamins, iron, minerals, water and enzymes in the exact amounts required for optimal growth and development.
- Breast milk contains substances that prevent harmful bacteria from growing in the intestines and causing gastrointestinal and diarrhoeal infections.
- Breastfed babies have fewer middle ear infections, fewer respiratory infections and a decreased risk of developing allergies, cancer, childhood diabetes and obesity.
- Breastfed babies have a decreased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Breastfed babies are less prone to develop diabetes, heart disease, eczema, asthma and other allergic disorders later in life.
- Breastfeeding a premature baby decreases their risk of developing necrotising enterocolitis (NEC).
- Breastfeeding enhances brain development. Research shows there is better visual development and visual acuity in breastfed children.
- Breast milk has the right temperature and needs no preparation. It is readily available whenever your baby needs it.
- Breastfeeding is more than just food. It enhances the emotional bond between the baby and the mother and provides warmth, love and affection.
Let your baby benefit from breastfeeding and your breast milk for a good start and healthy development.