- 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.