August is National Breastfeeding Month. Several studies have now shown that the children who have been breastfed also tend to be better learners and tend to have, on average, stronger brains.
That is new information and it is anchored in the new brain science that we are learning from current research about the impact of direct experience on each child’s brain in those first weeks, months and years of life.
Here are a few of the Benefits of breastfeeding:
Breast milk is the best milk for your baby. Breast milk provides optimal nutrition, has the perfect balance of nutrients and is readily available. Breast milk contains everything your baby needs for the first 6 months of life.
Especially in the first few days after birth, breasts produce a special milk called colostrum. Colostrum is high in protein and low in sugar and cannot be replicated in formula.
Breast milk contains antibodies which help to fight bacteria and viruses. The immunoglobulin A (igA) in breastmilk helps your baby to form a protective layer in the throat, nose, and digestive system which helps the child ward off illness.
Science clearly shows that breastfeeding has positive effects on long term brain development. Some of the primary benefits are higher intelligence scores, and less likelihood of behavioral problems. It is a held belief that eye contact and physical intimacy provide the child with an emotional security that will benefit them throughout life.
Breastfeeding Benefits Mothers
Breastfeeding is connected to decreased risk for postpartum depression. Breastfeeding also temporarily suspends the menstrual cycle, which allows time between pregnancies. An additional benefit is that breastfeeding saves time and money. You have to spend money on formula, track calorie intake, sterilize bottles, or warm up the milk. For more information about breastfeeding and tips, click here.