Previous studies suggest that breastfeeding could have a positive effect on a baby’s future intelligence and earning power. It is also known that when a mother breastfeeds her baby they could form a bond that would connect them even stronger. Human milk provides virtually all the protein, sugar, and fat that the baby needs to be healthy, and it also contains many substances that could have a huge benefit to the baby’s immune system, including antibodies, immune factors, enzymes, and white blood cells. These substances protect the baby against a wide variety of diseases and infections not only while he is breastfeeding but in some cases long after he has weaned.
Nutrition is essential to the health and development of infants and children. Breastfeeding is superior to infant formula feeding because, in addition to the nutritional advantages that are provided by breastmilk, it could also protect the baby against infections through specific and non-specific immune factors and has a long-term consequences for metabolism and disease later in life. Science Daily recently shared on their website that a new study conducted by the University of Helsinki stated that infants who received breast milk from their mother have a stronger protection against bacteria that causes them to be sickly and weak.
The study analyzed the genes of 16 mothers and babies over eight months. They tested the breast milk and feces from the mother and the baby, looking at a total of 96 samples. Although breast milk does contain bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, it’s the sugar in the milk that is beneficial. These sugars, like Bifidobacteria, provide sustenance to ‘good’ gut bacteria, which work like probiotics for babies.
Breast milk is amazing but it’s important to remember that fed is best. There’s nothing wrong with supplementing with or feeding formula if that’s what the mother needs to do. Breast milk is pretty amazing, but it is also important to consider the health of the mother before they proceed on breastfeeding their baby.
The power of breastfeeding
“The consequences of infection for both mother and infant are potentially serious. What we can state is our findings, and physicians can use them to consider whether practices should be changed or not,” stated by the microbiologists at the University of Helsinki.
In a web post by Daily Mail, they reported that the World Health Organization suggests that in order for the baby to be healthy, it is advisable that the mother would give breast milk exclusively to her baby for the first six months of the infant’s life. Breastfeeding is recommended for many reasons. With regard to allergy prevention, there is some evidence that breastfeeding protects babies born to families with a history of allergies, compared to those babies who are fed either a standard cow’s milk-based formula or a soy formula. In these “at risk” families, breastfed babies generally had a lower risk of milk allergy, atopic dermatitis, and wheezing early in life, if they were exclusively breastfed for four months.
Human milk encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract of the breastfed baby. The breastmilk does this by promoting a generally healthy environment and through substances called prebiotics.which are found in human milk. Since human milk stimulates the growth of these “friendly” strains of bacteria, other bacteria such as E.coli, which are more likely to cause disease, are inhibited from growing, multiplying, and attaching to the lining of the intestine, where they can cause infection. It has been well established that formula-fed infants have much higher rates of diarrheal diseases which may require visits to the doctor or sometimes to the hospital for intravenous fluids.
It’s good for mommies too!
Furthermore, Breastfeeding Magazine also reported that breastfeeding also releases oxytocin which is a neurotransmitter and a hormone that is produced in the hypothalamus. It is also known that oxytocin is also called love hormone which is responsible for the feeling of empathy, trust, sexual activity, and relationship-building and studies also show that mothers who do not practice breastfeeding tend to develop ovarian cancer and urinary tract infections.
Breastfeeding helps the mother to lose pregnancy weight because milk production burns about 300 to 500 calories a day, nursing mothers tend to have an easier time losing pregnancy weight in a healthy way which is slowly and without dieting, experts say that breast milk contains 20 calories per ounce. If the baby is fed 20 ounces a day, that’s 400 calories that are swept in the mother’s body. Women who breastfeed also have a lower risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis since when a woman is pregnant and lactating, her body absorbs calcium much more efficiently. There are some bones, particularly those in the spine and hips, maybe a bit less dense at weaning, six months later, they are denser than before pregnancy.
Giving breast milk to infants could save a lot of money for the parents since it is essentially free. According to La Leche League International, the cost of formula can range anywhere from $134 to $491 per month. The cost savings extend beyond the household too. According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, the United States would save about $13 billion per year in medical costs if 90 percent of U.S families breastfed their newborns for at least six months.