The Beauty and Benefits of Breastfeeding - by Rachel Thompson
In recent years, there has been a lot of debate surrounding the issue
of breastfeeding. While the decision to breastfeed is a personal one, there
are countless benefits for both mother and child that ought to be explored.
One of the most significant reasons to breastfeed your child relates to
the quality of food your child is ingesting. Although baby formula may
meet the nutritional requirements of children, it is not the ideal food
According to the World Health Organization, Breastfeeding is the absolute
best source of food for babies. Commercial baby formula is comprised of
countless preservatives and by-products of other food production techniques
that have no proven benefit for your child. Formula is also extremely high
in fat content, and leads parent to believe that their child is thriving
because he or she is gaining weight. This is not necessarily the case.
Breast milk, on the other hand, has undergone millions of years of
development in the laboratory of Nature. Countless studies have proven
that there is no reasonable substitute for Breast milk. Breast milk has
the amazing ability to transform and adapt to the needs of your baby at
various stages of development.
Colostrum is an amazing example of the way a woman's body produces the
perfect food for baby. It is the first liquid produced by a mother, usually
beginning a few months before delivery. It differs slightly in appearance
than breast milk, in that it is thicker and has a yellowish tint. It has
a high concentration of antibodies, which helps newborns fend off illness
and disease and build strong, stable immune systems. It is extremely easy
for babies to digest, and it also has a laxative effect to help ease digestion.
Studies have also shown that there is a direct relationship between
breastfeeding and a child's cognitive ability and intelligence. Simply
put, breastfed babies have higher IQ's than their bottle-fed peers. Some
studies have concluded that the longer a child is breastfed, the higher
IQ he/she will have. Other studies have shown that breastfed children have
a lower incidence of ear infections. This is significant when one considers
the overuse of antibiotics and antibiotic resistant disease.
Food allergies are another important consideration for new parents.
Breastfed babies have a much lower chance of developing food life-threatening
food allergies. As a consequence, the have an even lower chance of developing
related illnesses such as gastrointestinal disorders, diarrhea and vomiting.
Breast milk protects babies from food allergies because it has a high concentration
of the immunoglobulin IgA. IgA works by binding to foreign proteins and
preventing them from entering the child's bloodstream. Children do not
begin to produce IgA of their own until approximately 8 months of age.
Other studies have concluded that breastfeeding can also protect your
child from diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Leukemia. New parents
should explore their options carefully, and make educated decisions regarding
their child's health and well being. Speak with your Pediatrician, or contact
your local health unit, for more information. The choice you make will
affect your child's health for the rest of his or her life.
About The Author
Rachel Thompson is the proud mother of two young children, and a regular
contributing writer for thebabydepartment.com
– a wonderfully informative online resource for parents, with information
about breastfeeding( http://www.thebabydepartment.com/feeding/breastfeeding.aspx
), car seats( http://www.thebabydepartment.com/travel/car-seats.aspx),
baby supplies( http://www.thebabydepartment.com/
) and more