The first six months of a baby’s life should be spent solely breastfed, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Newborn pediatricians recommend formula feeding only when there’s a health concern and not out of personal preference. This is due to breastfeeding’s numerous, scientifically validated advantages and its long-lasting favorable effects on a child’s health.
This blog will help clear doubts about the nutrition path you should take for your newborn child or if you want assurance on whether you should continue breastfeeding your baby.
What Is Breastfeeding?
The production of colostrum in a mother’s body right after giving birth is one of nature’s most beautiful miracles. This viscous, yellowish fluid is rich in minerals, including calcium, iron, and other natural resources, that a newborn baby needs.
It provides all the nutrients and energy the infant needs for the first few months. It also contains antibodies that aid in preventing several prevalent pediatric ailments. Breast milk can satisfy more than 50% of a child’s nutritional needs until they are 2 years old.
Benefits of Breastfeeding For the Baby
Here are some reasons why breastfeeding is crucial for a newborn child:
1. Healthy and Filling
Breast milk is rich in nutrients necessary for a baby’s growth. In addition to vitamin D, breast milk also contains calcium, iron, and everything a baby needs to grow in the first few weeks. Additionally, it is satiating and easy on the stomach, which helps a baby avoid constipation or indigestion.
2. Makes Infants Smarter
Newborn pediatrics claims that breastfed babies have better IQs than babies who are not. Breastfed children may become smarter as research shows that the brain development of formula-fed babies differs from that of breastfed babies.
This might be due to the nutrient composition of breast milk and the closeness, warmth, and physical contact associated with breastfeeding. Breastfed infants are also less likely to experience behavioral issues or learning challenges as they age.
3. Boosts Immunity
The ability of a mother’s milk to create the antibodies that a newborn requires to fend off diseases is unmatched. Primary care doctors claim that breastfed babies experience fewer gastrointestinal problems, seasonal allergies, and food sensitivities. Therefore, WHO recommends breastfeeding babies for at least six months.
4. Breast Milk Helps a Baby Maintain a Healthy Weight
Breastfeeding can lower the risk of childhood obesity and encourages healthy weight gain. Studies reveal that beneficial gut bacteria are more prevalent in breastfed babies, which can also impact how fat is stored in the body, preventing obesity.
Compared to newborns that are fed formula, breastfed babies also have higher levels of leptin in their bodies that control the fat accumulation and regulate appetite. They develop healthy eating patterns as they self-regulate their milk consumption.
Benefits of Breast FeedingFor Mothers
1. Aids in Weight Loss
Various studies reveal breastfeeding helps burn calories and is effective in postpartum weight loss. Your body uses fat cells stored during pregnancy and calories from your diet to produce milk and nourish your baby while breastfeeding, helping with weight loss. You’ll notice an increase in fat loss within the first three months of nursing.
2. Breastfeeding Can Stimulate Uterine Contractions
Your uterus significantly increases during pregnancy, going from being pear-sized to nearly taking up the entire area of your belly. It has to undergo a process called involution after delivery to return to its original size.
Moms who breastfeed typically experience faster uterine involution as breastfeeding leads to a rise in a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin helps reduce postpartum blood loss and promotes uterine contractions that help the uterus return to its original size.
3. Breastfeeding Mothers May Be Less Likely To Experience Depression
Postpartum depression is a mental health issue characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, and despair. Studies reveal women who breastfeed are less likely to experience postpartum depression than mothers who do not nurse or wean early.
4. Can Lower Your Risk of Contracting Various Diseases
Breastfeeding can reduces the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes, heart disease, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure, and several other diseases.
Provide the Best to Your Newborn
A Thru Z Pediatrics is one of the best pediatric clinic San Antonio and adjoining areas. Our newborn pediatricians provide regular immunizations against major diseases such as influenza, rubella, and more.
Schedule an appointment today to provide the best care to your newborn.