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Posted by Dr. Monica Wonnacott | January 26, 2016

Breastfeeding Benefits

Most women have heard the statement: “Breastfeeding is best for your baby.” Here’s why: If you are pregnant and considering breastfeeding, carefully read the information below as you make your decision. If you are currently breastfeeding, or have breastfed your baby, congratulations! This is how you helped your baby.

Benefits to baby

  1. Immunoglobulins, which help protect against diseases and illnesses, are passed from the mother to the baby. The following are some of the acute (short-term) disorders breastfeeding may help against.
    1. Acute (short-term) disorders
      1. Diarrhea
      2. Otitis media (ear infections)
      3. Urinary tract infections
      4. Necrotizing enterocolitis (portions of the bowel die, seen primarily in premature infants)
      5. Septicemia (infection of the blood stream)
      6. Infant botulism
    2. Chronic (long-term) disorders
      1. Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (inability to metabolize sugar properly)
      2. Celiac disease (inability to digest gluten)
      3. Crohn disease (inflammatory bowel disease)
      4. Childhood cancer (e.g., lymphoma and leukemia)
      5. Allergies
  2. Decreases hospitalizations
  3. Decreases infant mortality (death)
  4. Increases maternal infant bonding
  5. Improved cognitive (process of thought) functioning
  6. Improved motor (muscle movement) abilities