11 Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby
Breastmilk is a “perfect food.” It’s easy to digest, and because it is made of live cells, your baby’s body can easily absorb it.
Breastmilk provides just the right proportion of essential nutrients, vitamins, proteins, fats and antibodies to help your baby’s body and brain develop.
What’s amazing is that it also can adapt its composition to meet your baby’s needs as they get older or become sick. Breastfed babies have a greater sense of taste and smell because breastmilk changes flavor based on the mother's diet. Just as importantly, your baby thrives emotionally because skin-to-skin contact with mom creates a strong bond and sense of security.
Because breastmilk is the perfect food, breastfed babies get a wealth of medical benefits. A preeminent baby authority, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), states: "Breastfeeding ensures the best possible health and best developmental and psychosocial outcomes for the infant."
- Get sick less and have a lower risk of allergies.
- Have a lower risk of obesity and Types 1 and 2 diabetes.
- Have a lower incidence of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- Have a reduced risk for ear infections (otitis media) and gastroenteritis.
- Are on a path to optimal brain development.
- Get nutrients that help strengthen and develop their immature immune system in a way no other substance can.
- Respond better to immunizations against Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Haemophilus influenza (bacterium that can cause a severe infection).
- Have optimal oral development because of their jaw movements and nutrients in breastmilk decrease the risk of tooth decay.
- Are protected against respiratory infections including those caused by rotaviruses.
- Are less likely to be hospitalized with pneumonia or bronchiolitis, and have a decreased risk of lower respiratory tract infections.
- Have been associated with a slightly enhanced performance on cognitive development tests.