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Learn about the benefits for your child and you coming from breastfeeding.
Learn how to breastfeed and how to overcome the problems associated with lactation.
Our tools and articles are consulted by experts
dr Aleksandra Łada,
PhD, Clinical Speech Therapist
dr Agata Serwatowska-Bargieł,
PhD, International Lactation Specialist, Neonatologist
lek. med. Danuta Chrzanowska-Liszewska,
Neonatologist
Breastfeeding is worth it

Breastfeeding is a wonderful gift that nature gave to women. A gift both for the child and for mothers themselves. It is, therefore, important to breastfeed as long as possible. Explore the benefits of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is the best gift you can give your child at birth. This is the healthiest and most valuable form of feeding newborns and infants.

Benefits for baby
  1. Immunity from the moment of birth

    Apart from satisfying baby's hunger, human milk also supports his immature immune system. It contains antibodies, immune cells and other immunologically active components. Early milk, called colostrum, is particularly rich in antibodies. Even a few drops of colostrum, often neglected by first time mothers as insignificant, are important as they protect your child against microorganisms from the environment.
  2. Improved digestive tract performance

    Breast milk protects the child's digestive system and regulates its function, it helps the body to quickly remove any impurities and facilitates passing by meconium (first stool). Thanks to stimulated peristalsis bilirubin contained in newborn's stool does not accumulate in the bowels, and the risk of neonatal jaundice is reduced.
  3. Unique composition

    Mum's milk contains easily digestible and non-allergenic proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates affecting the nervous system development, vitamins, easily absorbable minerals, enzymes, growth factors, hormones, and large amount of pure water. Therefore, breast-fed babies do not need any extra drinks. Proportions of those components are perfectly adjusted to baby's nutritional needs.

    Natural milk is unique, it contains valuable antibodies, live cells and many other immunological elements, absent in ready to use baby formula prepared from the cow's milk. Those factors protect the baby from viruses and bacteria, and that is why breastfed babies get sick less often.

  4. Easy to digest

    Natural milk proteins are easily digested and do not remain in baby's stomach. Therefore, the breast-fed babies demand to be fed more frequently. Moreover, they adjust the amount of milk to their needs, so it is difficult to overfeed them. Human milk is quickly digested, and diarrhea and constipation are less often in breastfed babies than in the formula fed ones.
  5. Adjusted to baby's needs

    Natural milk composition changes depending on the baby's needs and developmental stage. During feeding the child first needs to quench his thirst, and then to satisfy hunger. Therefore, the early milk contains more water, and then it becomes thicker and more nourishing. The most nourishing milk is produced at night. Milk composition changes along with baby's age. It is different in the neonatal and infancy period.
  6. Protection against diseases

    Breastfed babies are less likely to develop SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), and digestive and respiratory tract diseases (especially pneumonia). According to WHO data, breastfeeding reduces the risk of future type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis. Adults breastfed in infancy have lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, and are less likely to suffer from overweight and obesity.
  7. Protection against allergies

    Human milk does not contain highly allergenic lactoglobulin, present in cow's milk. It ensures proper development of the immune system, and protects the intestinal wall against adverse influence of allergens.
  8. Feeling of intimacy and security

    During breastfeeding the baby can feel his mum's smell, and hear her heart beating. Long early breastfeeding sessions in warm mother's arms satisfy the need for closeness and soothe emotions.
  9. Active suckling necessary for healthy child development

    Breast suckling engages over 40 individual muscles (including tongue, lips, jaw, cheeks). It stimulates the respiratory system development and increases oxygen supply. It is also a very important factor in the oral cavity development.
    EXPERT TIPS
    Aleksandra Łada, NDT SLT Senior Tutor
     

    How does breastfeeding affect child's development?

    Breastfeeding is very important, as the suckling process itself and its quality are some of the main factors responsible for proper development of the baby during infancy and they directly affect:

     
    • proper weight gain

    • proper development of the nervous system

    • good condition of the whole body

    • proper development of the respiratory system

    • immunity development

    • physical and cognitive activity

    • proper development of the bite and oral cavity

    • future speech development

    • better control of emotion

Breastfeeding is very beneficial not only for baby but also for mother.

Benefits for mum

  1. Shortened puerperium period

    Breastfeeding increases the level of oxytocin, responsible for both milk flow and quicker uterus shrinking. This reduces the risk of postpartum hemorrhage.
  2. Protection against diseases

    Breastfeeding women lessen their chances of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis. Women who nurse their babies for more than a year are at lower risk of hypertension, heart attack, obesity, atherosclerosis and diabetes.
  3. Lower risk of postpartum depression

    Hormones responsible for lactation improve mother's mood,  and the breastfeeding women are better at coping with depressed mood that appears a few days after birth. As a consequence they are less likely to develop depression later on.
  4. Healthy lifestyle promotion

    Avoiding fried foods, chocolate, carbonated drinks, alcohol and coffee is a basic principle of a nursing mother's diet. Breastfeeding mothers are more concerned with proper content of unsaturated fatty acids and vitamins in their food.
  5. Quicker return to pre-pregnant weight

    Breastfeeding is quite an effort for the body, and therefore during pregnancy it accumulates the fatty tissue necessary during lactation. After the birth of your baby exclusive breastfeeding helps quickly loose the extra pounds. Breastfeeding a baby takes up even up to 700 extra calories per day.
  6. Cheap and convenient

    You can always quickly feed your baby anywhere. There is no need to waste time to prepare a formula and to keep all the feeding accessories clean. This precious food, i.e. the human milk, is not only easy to produce, but it is also more economical. You will only need breast pads and a well suited nursing bra.
  7. Building close relationship with the child

    Breastfeeding involves long, very pleasant sessions of cuddling. This allows not only to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but also to quickly establish a deep, emotional bond with the baby.
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29 MARCH 2017
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