The science is clear - breastfeeding is important for providing our babies with the best possible start in life. The World Health Organization, NHS, and other leading health organizations stress that babies need to be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of their lives in order to guarantee comprehensive wellness and optimum development as they grow into children and adults.
Breastfeeding creates so many opportunities and advantages for babies, their mothers, and the bond that they share. Here at The Teatle, we believe in the power of breastfeeding. That’s why we have put together this guide to what new mothers should know about the benefits of an incredible natural process:
Benefits of Breastfeeding For The Baby
Breastfeeding is such an amazing natural phenomenon- with no help from doctors or added chemicals, mothers’ bodies produce the most perfect food and medicine to nourish their little ones, containing all the crucial nutrients that newborn needs like carbohydrates, healthy fats, vital proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Not only does breast milk nourish our babies, but it also protects their developing health.
Newborns don’t come into this world with the same set of infection-fighting antibodies as adults and older children; instead, they need to develop the ability to fight infection over time. Breast milk contains a vast spectrum of compounds and nutrients like white blood cells, whey proteins, and antibodies; these compounds work towards protecting babies from a range of illnesses and conditions like stomach infections, pneumonia, and SIDS.
Breastfeeding isn’t just important for a baby’s physical health- it also creates well-documented psychological benefits. Breastfeeding is an infant’s primary source of skin-to-skin contact, which is crucial for fostering a strong mother-and-child-bond, promoting future mental and behavioral health.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mum
Did you know that breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories a day? It’s true - Breastfeeding mothers tend to have better outcomes with postpartum weight loss. But this is far from the only benefit that breastfeeding has for mums.
Advantages of breastfeeding for new mothers include reducing the chances of anemia and urinary tract infections; breastfeeding also encourages the postpartum uterus to contract back to its typical size, leading to a reduction in bleeding in the weeks after birth. Breastfeeding helps the bodies of new mothers heal and strengthen as they nurture their new babies.
Furthermore, skin-to-skin contact coupled with the hormones that breastfeeding releases is crucial to the mental health of new mothers. Breastfeeding mothers are at less risk of postpartum depression, and often report feeling a great sense of joy and contentment in bonding with their baby.
Benefits of Breastfeeding For the Future
Breastfeeding doesn’t just create healthy babies- it also creates healthy toddlers, children, teens, and adults.
Breastfed babies are less likely than formula-fed babies to develop a wide variety of childhood chronic health complications like allergies, asthma, Crohn’s disease, and diabetes. Furthermore, studies have shown that breastfed babies are at a lower risk of developing obesity or cardiovascular issues as adults.
Not only does breast milk encourage optimum physical health as babies grow into adults, but it also supports the neurological and psychological needs of a growing child. Breast milk is crucial to healthy brain development, and breastfeeding is proven to create neurological benefits which can help children learn faster and excel more later in life.
To ensure that healthy newborns grow into successful, thriving adults, breastfeeding is key.
The Limitations Of Breastfeeding
In a perfect world, all women would have the time and the resources to breastfeed their babies as much as they like. Unfortunately, life happens, and many mothers find themselves in compromised positions that mean they can’t breastfeed for as long or as often as they’d like. Work, travel, low or inconsistent milk production- these are all factors out of mothers’ control that sometimes disrupt breastfeeding.
Many mothers find a solution to these issues in pumping excess expressed milk to save if they ever run-low or encounter a situation in which breastfeeding would be impossible. Then, anyone watching the baby can use the refrigerated milk in a bottle. This ensures that the baby can still receive all of the benefits of breast milk even if the breastfeeding process itself is disrupted.
As you transition a breastfed baby to a bottle, it’s important to keep in mind the potential issues related to this process. Transitioning a breastfed baby to baby bottles can lead to nipple confusion or baby bottle refusal; babies who are accustomed to the texture and shape of a natural breast may reject synthetic bottle nipples. Therefore, it’s vital to look for baby bottles that mimic the natural nursing process- like The Teatle, a bottle designed specifically to encourage breastfed babies to latch.
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy, but it is always worthwhile. Taking the time to make sure your little one receives the benefits of breast milk will ensure that both you and your baby have the brightest possible future.