8 Proven Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Moms And Babies
Whether or not to breastfeed is one of the biggest decisions of early parenthood. You’ve probably heard that breastfeeding is good for your baby, but did you know it’s beneficial for you as well? It’s true — there are many benefits of breastfeeding!
Here at Mustela, we care about mom and baby, so we’ve put together a list of the benefits of breastfeeding for both of you!
And since we know that breastfeeding is not always a walk in the park, at the end we’ll let you in on a few breastfeeding tips to make the experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.
8 Benefits Of Breastfeeding
Breast milk (nature’s food for infants) — and the actual act of breastfeeding — are beneficial for both mom and baby.
That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding your baby only breast milk for the first six months of their life. At that point, it’s best to continue breastfeeding up to a year (or longer!) as you add age-appropriate foods to your little one’s diet.
Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Babies
1) Breast Milk Provides Ideal Nutrition
As far as ideal nutrition for your baby goes, breast milk is unrivaled! It’s perfectly designed to provide your infant with exactly what they need from the very first day of their life.
Colostrum is the first “breast milk” that you produce right after giving birth. This thick fluid is loaded with special nutrients that your newborn needs to kick start their existence outside the womb.
Within the first few days after delivery, you’ll stop producing colostrum and begin making regular breast milk instead.
But there’s nothing average about “regular” breast milk, either! Full of vitamins and antibodies to protect your baby, it also contains just the right amount and type of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to support your growing baby.
It truly is the best nutrition for little ones.
2) Breast Milk Protects Your Baby From Infections And Viruses
Thanks to the antibodies and other goodies in breast milk, breastfeeding your baby helps to protect them from infections and viruses.
Your little one’s body will be better equipped to fight off ailments like diarrhea, ear infections, respiratory infections, and other illnesses.
Because of your breast milk, your baby will be less likely to get sick, which is a win for everyone in the family!
3) Breastfeeding Reduces The Risk Of Long-Term Conditions
The benefits of breastfeeding aren’t just for the here and now — they can also be seen well into childhood. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of long-term childhood conditions and diseases like diabetes, asthma, obesity, and eczema.
Speaking of eczema, if your little one has eczema-prone skin, you’re in the right place! Mustela offers a range of products made with natural ingredients to help calm and soothe your baby’s delicate skin.
From bath time with our Eczema-Prone Skin Bathtime Set and hydration with Stelatopia Emollient Balm and Stelatopia Emollient Face Cream to bedtime with Stelatopia Skin Soothing Pajamas to soothe your little one's delicate skin overnight, we’ve got your baby covered with fragrance-free, calming solutions!
4) Breastfeeding Boosts Brain Development
Breastfeeding your child positively affects brain development well into childhood and adolescence. It can improve your little one’s language and motor skills and is beneficial for long-term brain development.
Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Moms
The great news about breastfeeding is that it’s not healthy for babies only — it’s also good for you! Here are a few of the ways breastfeeding benefits you as a mom.
1) Breastfeeding Helps You Get Back To Your Pre-Baby Body
When you breastfeed your baby, you’re also helping to get your pre-baby body back.
In the long term, breastfeeding moms typically see more postpartum weight loss than women who don’t breastfeed. While that’s great news, it’s not all that breastfeeding does for your body.
Nursing your little one also increases a beneficial hormone called oxytocin in your body. This hormone strengthens the bond between you and your baby and helps your uterus return to its smaller, pre-baby size.
2) Breastfeeding Reduces Your Risk For Breast And Ovarian Cancer
Just like breastfeeding is good for your child’s long-term health, it’s good for yours as well! Due to lowered estrogen levels during breastfeeding, the longer you nurse your baby the smaller your risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
3) Breastfeeding Is Economic
While you and your baby’s health are most important, we can’t help but mention the economic benefits of breastfeeding.
When you breastfeed, you won’t spend tons of money on formula since your body is producing the milk your baby needs.
It’s also possible that you’ll have lower health care costs. With a healthier, breastfed baby, your little one will get sick less often than they would if they weren’t breastfeeding. That means less time off work and fewer doctor visits.
4) Breastfeeding Is Eco-Friendly And Convenient
Breastfeeding is also eco-friendly and the most natural way to feed your little one.
Your body does all the manufacturing necessary for breastfeeding, as opposed to the waste and pollution involved in producing formula. Plus, breastfeeding keeps lots of formula packages out of the landfills.
Breastfeeding is also convenient — the milk is always the right temperature, and there’s no need to carry bottles and formula in your diaper bag.
Tips For A Successful Breastfeeding Experience
As you can see, the benefits of breastfeeding are many. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy!
Plenty of breastfeeding moms deal with low milk supply, sore nipples, or a host of other breastfeeding frustrations and difficulties. Some women give up breastfeeding early because they’re discouraged.
But the benefits of breastfeeding increase the longer and more exclusively you breastfeed. That’s why it’s important to figure out what works best for you and your baby so that discomfort and frustration won’t keep you from nursing!
Here are a few of Mustela’s tips for making breastfeeding as comfortable and enjoyable as possible!
1) Watch For Early Hunger Signs
There are several reasons babies cry, and hunger is one of them. But crying is a late hunger cue — it means that your baby is really hungry and might have more trouble latching on to nurse correctly!
Instead of waiting for your infant to cry, keep an eye out for earlier hunger cues, like sucking on their fingers or opening their mouth and moving their head side-to-side, which is called rooting.
2) Be Prepared
When it’s time to sit down to nurse your little one, get set up and gather what you need first.
Make a trip to the bathroom; pour a drink to sip on while you breastfeed; and grab your phone, a book, the tv remote, or whatever else you’ll want as you sit and nurse. Don’t forget to also grab a couple of pillows to support your body or prop up your arm.
Last but not least, keep Mustela’s Nursing Comfort Balm on hand to apply after breastfeeding. This soothing nipple cream will ease discomfort and moisturize sensitized nipples.
Nursing Comfort Balm is made of 100% naturally derived, vegan ingredients and is safe for both you and your baby during prenatal and postpartum pregnancy.
3) Find The Right Position
There are many different breastfeeding positions, meaning there’s no “one right way” to do it. Which position you choose depends on what’s most comfortable and what position helps your baby latch on correctly.
Experiment with several breastfeeding positions to determine which one works best for you and your little one.
4) Help Your Baby Latch On
Once you’re in a good position, help your baby latch on to your nipple. If they latch on correctly every time, you’ll save yourself a lot of nipple soreness!
Touch their upper lip with your nipple so they open their mouth big and wide. Then bring their head to your breast (not your breast to their head) and put their chin to your breast first, followed by their mouth.
5) Take Care Of Your Skin
This hydrating serum will nourish and tone your skin. Plus, it’s safe to use while breastfeeding!
Care For Yourself And Your Baby
As you can see, there are numerous benefits of breastfeeding. If you can breastfeed, it’s a great way to care for yourself and your little one and keep both of you healthy!
Follow our tips for comfortable breastfeeding and use Mustela’s Nursing Comfort Balm. But don’t stop there — keep your baby’s skin silky soft and healthy with our line of baby and child products, like Hydra Bebe Body Lotion and Hydra Bébé Facial Cream.
Having a happy and healthy baby and mom is priceless!