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Having a baby is one of the most challenging and unique experiences a woman can go through. Yet, it is only the first step on the long road of parenting. While some mothers elect or must choose the bottle, many more still opt for breastfeeding. They do so for a number of reasons. Most of the rationale behind breastfeeding, however, focuses on the health benefits and the adage that breast is best.

When you feed a baby breast milk, you increase the chances of developing a strong immune system. Breast milk contains a minimum of 6 anti-infective agents against the most common childhood diseases and illnesses. Breast milk also contains many antimicrobial properties. Colostrum is one of several immune protectors for your child. As a result, breastfeeding you baby may increase his or her chances of avoiding the risk of contracting juvenile diabetes, lymphoma and Crohn’s Disease later in their life. Some tests have revealed babies who have been breast fed have lower instances of developing asthma and allergies.

When you breastfeed your baby, you also provide him or her with the ideal nutritional balance. In fact, some experts maintain that breast milk can provide all the nutrients your baby needs up until they are one year old. Moreover, breast milk is less sweet than other milks and contains fat that is easily absorbed by the system. One thing you need to note is that breast milk is species specific. Each mammal produces the ideal breast milk for their infants.

Breast milk is a nutrient-packed source of food for your infant. It contains lactose which is less sweet than sucrose. The milk also contains all the essential minerals and vitamins your child will need to get a healthy start in life. Breast milk is easily digestible allowing even premature babies the chance to improve their nutritional intake. The fatty acids are poly-unsaturated.

There are several other advantages to breastfeeding your baby. If you are environmentally conscious, you will be happy to know feeding your baby in this fashion avoids tossing anything into the landfill sites. Breastfeeding saves your family money. You do not need to purchase expensive baby formula or bottles, sterilizing equipment, and other related paraphernalia. You also avoid the chance of contamination. Breast milk does not get improperly mixed. You cannot accidently contaminate the source.
Another great reason for best feeding is bonding. You create a sense of closeness when you breastfeed your baby. Your infant and you establish a sense of oneness when you breastfeed. You extend the physical bond you started in the womb. You establish an emotional tie that links you to your child. In the process of breastfeeding you provide nourishment, nurturing and comfort for your infant.

For the woman who breastfeeds, the emotional and psychological bonds they develop with their child may be reciprocal. Furthermore, some research indicates that women who breastfeed are more likely to lose their pregnancy weight. This is, of course, based on their ability to not overeat. There are also indications of reduced instances of ovarian cancer and pre-menopausal cancer in women who choose to breastfeed.

There are definitely huge benefits from breastfeeding for both mom and baby. However, there are women who for a range of reasons are unable to breastfeed. Look out for our upcoming article on the impact on a woman’s health if she is unable to breastfeed.

See also our full e- book available from entitled the New Mom’s Guide to Easier Breastfeeding

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