What are the main advantages of breastfeeding?

What are the main advantages of breastfeeding?
  • Breastfeeding, being the natural sequel to nutrition in the womb, makes the transition into the world a little easier on baby, enabling a natural link to continue between mother and child. Breastfeeding fosters this link, giving the infant time to adjust to all the other inevitable changes.
  • Breast milk is designed for baby’s particular needs and contains all the nutrients required for healthy growth and development with enough protein, a more digestible sugar and fat, and less salt than that of formula feeds.
  • The suitability of human milk means babies, generally, are more content, therefore less likely to suffer from indigestion, colic, constipation or become overweight.
  • Breast milk is available without preparation, is the correct temperature, always sterile and its antibodies, provides temporary immunity to conditions to which the mother herself is immune.
  • It protects baby against coughs, colds, ear infections and against gastro–enteritis – a major risk to formula-fed babies.
  • The incidence of skin conditions, i.e. allergies – eczema, asthma, hay fever is reduced.
  • It helps the womb return to pre-pregnant proportions.

Other important factors are:

  • A prolonged infertility period.
  • Lowers the incidence of breast cancer.
  • Helps reduces the risk of cot death.

The advantages are greater in the early weeks.