Benefits of Breastfeeding for Infant

There are numerous studies and research on benefits of breastfeeding to infant, all of which undoubtedly prove that there are numerous health (physical and mental health) benefits of breastfeeding to infants. Most of us are also aware of the benefits of breastfeeding for infants.

Some of the health benefits of breastfeeding to infants are greater immunity, lower risk of infections, less risk of development of diabetes, less risk of childhood obesity (and adult obesity as a result), lower risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), less risk of allergy, various long term health benefits and better intelligence etc.

Greater immunity and lower risk of infection:

During breastfeeding as much as 0.5 gram of IgA antibody may pass from mother to the baby every day. Colostrum (the yellowish color milk that is produced for first few days after delivery) is especially rich in antibodies. The antibodies are for intestinal infection but some amount is absorbed. Breast milk also contains some anti-infective agents that reduce overall incidence of infection due to better immunity.

Some of the infections which occur less commonly among breastfed babies are middle ear infection (otitis media), upper respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infection, gastroenteritis etc. The risk of diarrhea is also less, because risk of introducing rota virus and other diarrhea causing microorganism via breast milk is minimal.

Lower risk of Diabetes:

Breastfed babies have reduced risk of developing type-1 diabetes in compare to formula fed babies. Breastfeeding may also reduce risk of diabetes type-2 by reducing risk of obesity.

Less risk of obesity:

Breastfeeding for long duration reduce risk of obesity among children. The protection against obesity is modest, but it is consistent as shown by all studies. Protection is greater with longer duration of breastfeeding.

Reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome:

Breastfed babies have lower risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) in compare to formula fed babies.

Less risk of allergy:

The risk of developing allergy (atopy) among children with high risk (at least one sibling or one parent with atopy are considered high risk of developing allergic disorders), can be reduced by exclusive breastfeeding for 6-8 months. The later the introduction of non-breast milk to the baby the lower is the risk of atopy.

Other long term health benefits of breast feeding:

There are several other long term health benefits of breast milk not discussed above. Protection from asthma, lower risk of breast cancer among females, over reduction in cardiovascular disease risk etc. are some of long term health benefits of breastfeeding.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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3 Comments

  • Eryn September 23, 2012 09.43 pm

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  • Eden Rivera May 24, 2013 02.01 am

    I myself also prefer breastfeeding method because of the great benefits it brings to babies. Spreading this very useful information is a big help.

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