Decades of research have shown that breast milk is a unique substance that cannot be duplicated by artificial means. It is the most complete food for babies, as it contains the perfect balance of nutrients that are essential for a baby’s growth and development. Experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization, recommend that women breastfeed for at least the first year.
Benefits for Baby
Breast milk has more than 100 nutritional components not found in infant formula that are critical to a baby’s brain function and to their visual and auditory development. Breast milk contains antibodies to many diseases and helps a baby develop a strong immune system. Studies show that breastfed babies have lower incidences of sudden infant death syndrome, and a reduced risk of childhood leukemia and juvenile onset diabetes. Breastfed babies also have a lower risk of allergies, asthma, diarrhea, respiratory and ear infections. Children that are breastfed are less likely to develop celiac disease and have a lowered risk of obesity later in life.
Benefits for Mom
Breastfeeding provides a wide range of benefits to the nursing mother. Breast milk is convenient, it is always available and at the right temperature. You can feed your baby anywhere and at anytime without having to pack up bottles, sterilizing equipment or formula. Breastfeeding helps mothers return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster than women who formula feed. There are numerous health benefits for women who choose to breastfeed including a reduced risk of osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and ovarian and breast cancers.
Benefits for the Environment
Breastfeeding saves our natural resources as well. The production of infant formula takes valuable land, water and energy and contributes to air pollution. An estimated 87,230 tons of tin and paper end up in landfills every year due to formula consumption. There is a potential annual savings of $3.6 billion in decreased costs of public health programs, reduced absenteeism, and reduced environmental and energy burdens.
Motherlove believes new mothers should have access to information about the immediate and lifelong benefits breastfeeding can provide. Ultimately, the decision to breastfeed is yours. We are dedicated to helping women with low milk supply provide their children with the best start in life.