There are endless benefits for breastfeeding, but the first one to consider is breast milk is the
food of choice for virtually all infants. Breast milk is designed to meet the needs of your
individual baby. Your body knows exactly what your baby needs in times of sickness and health.
On top of this your milk is sterile and the perfect temperature to give directly to your infant. One
of the components in breast milk is lactose which stimulates the growth of gut bacteria that helps
control bad bacteria from forming. Two other components that are high in breast milk are iron
and zinc. Zinc is vital for any human, but especially for your infant because it boosts the immune
system. These immune and protective factors in breast milk can help your infant pass meconium,
the first stool passed consisting of everything absorbed during their time in the womb. A few
other advantages of breastfeeding is the decreased chance or prevention of some diseases such
as: food allergies, leaky gut, obesity or diabetes later in life, there is a reduction in SIDS, ear
infections, non specific GI infections, allergies, asthma, type 1 diabetes, and in celiac disease.
There is an overall boost in the infant’s immune system and antibodies. Some other components
to consider is the amount of cholesterol and other fatty acids that human milk contains which is
important for brain development and can stimulate intellectual development. Some advantages
for the mother during breastfeeding is the decrease in postpartum hemorrhage and the decrease in
postpartum depression-the oxytocin produced during breastfeeding has a calming effect. A few
other advantages is a longer period of absence for the menstrual cycle, an increase in bonding
between the child and mother, the mother can relax during feeding, and if wanted, breastfeeding
helps with the spacing of pregnancies. A final factor is saving on the cost of formula and
healthcare! No worries though, if you are unable to breastfeed formula makers are constantly
trying to make formulas more like breast milk, and they are designed to copy the nutrients in
human milk as closely as possible.