Mother nursing her baby.

Benefits of Breast Feeding Baby

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Breast-feeding feeding has once again become very common in today’s society. But, did you know why it is so healthy for baby? Here are just a few reasons to consider.Mother nursing her baby.

Breast-fed babies have:

  • fewer incidences of vomiting and diarrhea in the USA. (Did you know that 20-35 million episodes of diarrhea occur in children under the age of 5 in the USA, resulting in over 200,000 hospitalizations and 400-500 deaths every year?)
  • reduced risk of chronic constipation, colic, and other stomach upsets.
  • reduced risk of childhood diabetes.
  • natural protection against ear infections, respiratory illnesses, pneumonia, bronchitis, kidney infections and septicemia (blood poisoning).
  • greater protection against allergies, asthma, eczema, and other allergic diseases.
  • reduced risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). (Did you know that for every 87 deaths from SIDS, only 3 are breastfed?)
  • decreased risk of tooth decay and cavities.
  • higher IQ’s, as well as improved brain and nervous system development. The IQ of breast-fed children is 10-12 points higher than bottle-fed peers at the age of 8, 12, and 18. 
  • reduced risk of heart disease later in life.
  • a special warm bonding and emotional relationship with their mothers.
  • higher antibody response to vaccines.
  • a hospitalization rate 10 times less than formula-fed infants in the first year of life.
  • decreased risk for vitamin E and iron deficiency (anemia).
  • decreased risk for acute appendicitis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • lower risk of childhood obesity.

The lesson is simple. Breast-feed your baby!

A separate blog will highlight some of the health benefits that breast-feeding brings to the mother. 

Author

Gary L. Hopkins, MD, DrPH, MPH is currently an associate research professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he is also associate director of the Institute for Prevention of Addictions, Director of the Center for Prevention Research and Director of the Center for Media Impact Research.