Benefits of breastfeeding

6 Benefits Of Breastfeeding

Exclusive breastfeeding has many benefits both for the baby and the mother

In general, the benefits of breastfeeding are widely known to those mothers who have decided to opt for the natural upbringing of their baby. Nowadays, this practice has good fame and increasingly has more followers, but do we really know the reasons why it is so recommended by health experts?

In this article, we will tell you some of the benefits of breastfeeding  so that you can value for yourself if it is the type of food you want for your child.

What is exclusive breastfeeding?

After nine months of pregnancy, putting all our attention on everything that ensures a safe, healthy and peaceful gestation (as far as possible), feeding our baby will be one of our primary concerns.

And the next question we'll ask ourselves is 'Natural breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, or both?' Although it is a totally personal decision, assessing the pros and cons of both will help us feel more confident when choosing the option that best suits our parenting style. It is important to learn the benefits of breastfeeding before making a decision.

For all those who want to know what exclusive breastfeeding is, tell them that it is the option in which the newborn is exclusively fed with breast milk, without alternating with any other type of food (or water) for at least the first 6 months, as according to experts in child health would be the optimal method of nutrition for newborns.

In order for exclusive breastfeeding to be successful, it is recommended that it begins within the first hour of the baby's birth. We don't have to use bottles or pacifiers. Also, we have to do it as often as the baby requires, in other words, on demand.

World Breastfeeding Week

Since 1992, a very special theme week has been held around the world, thanks to the official launch by UNICEF and WHO of World Breastfeeding Week during the 41st week of the year.

Why on that date? The symbolic idea was to equate it with a pregnancy that began on January 1, coinciding with the proposed date that would be the time of delivery and consequent start of natural breastfeeding the supposed newborn.

During World Breastfeeding Week, a multitude of events are held around the world, with family activities promoted by support groups in each country and the reading of a manifesto that reflects the principles of this movement. This act also helps people learn all about the benefits of breastfeeding all around the world.

Imatge d'una dona donant el pit al seu nadó.
World Breastfeeding Week encourages exclusive breastfeeding and helps people learn about it. | Cedida

Benefits of breastfeeding

These are just a few of the benefits:

1. Physical closeness to the mother

For a newborn, the exit to the outside of the womb supposes a whole change of circumstances in which their sensations will begin to shape their perception of the world. They will go from being submerged in a remains constant to means of pleasant weightlessness to being limited in their movement, and to feel cold or warmness, from being constantly fed to notice the discomfort of hunger.

Through contact with the mother by holding them in her arms while breastfeeding, the baby will be provided with much more than just food. Along with the many natural benefits of breastfeeding, the warmth of the mother's body, the soft sound of the familiar heartbeat, the serenity of the moment itself... all contribute to the newborn perceiving their arrival in the world in a much more pleasant way and, in turn, turn have a positive influence on their relationship with it.

2. Reduces the likelihood of developing allergies and asthma

One of the most interesting benefits of breastfeeding is its ability to strengthen the newborn's immune system. From their first moments of life and during the first 6 months, the baby will get the nutrients they need for their development exclusively from breast milk, and it is also during the first days when the composition of breast milk will have a better first composition that will be different from the one it will have later.

In natural breastfeeding, the so-called 'colostrum', is rich in certain types of nutrients that will increase the resistance of the defenses of the newborn, so that's another reason to want to give the most complete food to our child with which nature provided us.

3. Favors on-demand feeding

When resorting to exclusive breastfeeding, there's something we must consider: the quantities of breast milk given to the baby at each feeding are often less than those reached when the bottle is used. Therefore, it is not surprising that much less time passes between feedings, as satiety will last less in the case of breastfeeding than in an artificial way.

For this reason, it is vital to provide your child with food as soon as he or she requests it, in order to be able to feed them enough. The very system you have resorted to will require on-demand feeding.

4. Accelerates the mother's physical recovery

In order to generate the amounts of breast milk needed by an exclusively breastfed baby, a woman's body changes its metabolism so that it can provide her child's only food during this stage.

Such an energetic expense, derived from 'making' in your own breasts the milk with which to nourish your baby, will be responsible for the quick recovery of your ideal weight, as well as accelerating the recovery of the size of your uterus due to the production of oxytocin while you breastfeed your child, a substance responsible for unleashing postpartum contractions.

5. More digestible than artificial milk

Among the benefits of breastfeeding we also have the natural affinity between the milk produced by the mother's breast and the digestive system of the baby: In that sense, few formulas can compete with it, because the digestibility of it is so perfect that it seems designed to measure something as delicate as the body of a newborn. Mother nature is wise.

6. Reduces the chance of developing ovarian and breast cancer in the mother

Another of the breastfeeding benefits is, in this case, for the mother, as it has been shown that women who choose this method of feeding at least during the first six months of life of their baby have a lower incidence in two types of cancer common in women, ovarian and breast.

Benefits of breastfeeding
The benefits of breastfeeding are many both for the mother and the newborn baby.



This issue is also part of the usual debates on motherhood, upbringing, and health. So far, so good.

But sometimes, the benefits of breastfeeding aren't enough for some people to choose this method. The curious thing, not to call it a problem, is not that there are detractors of this type of food, but that it has become a matter by which those who defend it are harshly judged.

In this sense, the image of exclusive breastfeeding has different points of view: From the dependence on the figure of the mother, through the questioning of the completeness of breast milk to the scandalous criticism of those women who breastfeed their baby in a public place.

In any case, they finally end up belittling the number one reason why a mother chooses this option as she could have done for any other:  that for her it is the best option when it comes to feeding her child. And that shouldn't need anything to say. It is her decision, and it is based on the greatest love that can be felt towards another living being, the one professed by a mother to her child.

Check out the original article: ¡Somos la leche! 6 Beneficios de la lactancia materna exclusiva at