Breastfeeding doesn’t just have short term benefits, it develops and strengthens your baby’s body for a lifetime of good health. It also has loads of healthy benefits for mums.
Benefits for women:
- Reduces risks of breast and ovarian cancer.
- Protects against osteoporosis.
- Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Burns up to 500 calories per day, helping to get your body back into shape.
- Promotes bonding time with your baby.
- Releases hormone ‘prolactin’ which helps you get back to sleep at night.
- Saves money meaning less financial worries.
- Saves time and can be quicker once established, leaving more time to enjoy your baby and feel happier.
- Releases oxytocin and endorphins which are the ‘feel good hormones’ reducing stress levels and promoting a feeling of love towards your baby.
For babies, it reduces risks of:
- Gastrointestinal tract infections – Any breastfeeding reduces the risks of non-specific gastrointestinal tract infections by 64%.
- Respiratory tract and ear infections – Serious cold, ear and throat infections reduced by 63% in babies exclusively breastfed for 6 months. 72% reduction of hospitalisation for lower respiratory tract infections for infants exclusively breastfed over 4 months.
- Necrotizing Enterocolitis – 77% reduction of NEC in pre-term infants fed exclusively on breastmilk
- Sudden infant death and infant mortality – 36% reduction in breastfed babies.
- Allergic disease – Exclusive breastfeeding for 3-4 months reduces eczema, dermatitis, and asthma by 27% in a low risk group and 42% with family history
- Celiac disease – 52% reduction in infants that are fed at the time of gluten exposure (weaning)
- Inflammatory bowel disease – 31% reduction in breastfed babies
- Obesity – 15-30% reduction of obesity in adulthood with any breastfeeding.
- Diabetes – 30% reduction in type 1 diabetes in babies breastfed up to 3 months. Up to 40% reduction in type 2 diabetes.
- Childhood Leukemia and Lymphoma – Reduction of 15-20% in different cancers in babies exclusively breastfed for 6 months.