Benefits of Breastfeeding
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Several benefits can result from breastfeeding. Incidence of diarrhea, lower respiratory illnesses, and ear infections are a lot lesser in breastfed babies, and are less severe when they do occur. Giving only breast milk for the first six months offers the most protection.

Various immune factors exist in colostrum (the first milk your body produces). This protects against invading germs by forming a layer on your baby's mucous membranes in his intestines, nose, and throat.

Secretory IgA (immunoglobulin A) is present in large amounts in colostrums. That’s why it is very important to start nursing your baby right after birth. Colostrum is found in lower concentrations in mature milk.

Other benefits of breastfeeding are that it will protect your baby from developing inflammatory bowel disease later in life. There has also been a link between a lack of breastfeeding in infancy and development of Crohn's disease and colitis later in life.

Breastfeeding for at least six months will help prevent the onset of respiratory or food allergies in children. This protection can also last till adolescence. It has also been found to prevent asthma in children.

The fatty acids and immune factors such as IgA in breast milk prevent allergic reactions by preventing foreign bodies from invading a baby's system. Breast feeding has also been linked to higher IQ rates among children who are breast fed. Breast fed babies have lesser chance of being obese in adulthood.

Breast feeding can also guard against type-1 diabetes and development of acute myeloid leukemia. It also reduces the incidence of childhood cancers and gives your baby’s immune system a boost.

It also reduces the baby’s risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Benefits of breastfeeding for the mother include helping to shed weight as she burns more calories when she breastfeeds. Release of the hormone oxytocin helps the mother to be very relaxed and happy.

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