To Your Health
June, 2012 (Vol. 06, Issue 06)
Why Breast-Feeding Is So Good for Your Baby (and You)
By Editorial Staff
Breast-feeding has made the national headlines of late, but not necessarily for the right reason; after all, the most important issue isn't under what circumstances women should breast-feed (the when and where), but why.
The answer, of course, is that ample evidence suggests breast-feeding is enormously beneficial to both mother and child. Here are a few examples courtesy of WomensHealth.gov
, a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office on Women's Health project.
1. Unparalleled nutrition: Although formulas mimic breast milk more closely than ever, there's still a big difference when it comes to nutrition. The first breast milk produced during pregnancy and just following birth contains colostrum, which is rich in nutrients and antibodies. Colostrum then changes into mature milk, a thinner milk that still contains a vital blend of protein, fat, sugar and water.
2. Disease protection: Breast milk has been shown to protect against disease, with breast-fed babies developing asthma, respiratory infections, type 2 diabetes, obesity and even sudden infant death syndrome compared to formula-fed babies. Breast-feeding also appears to reduce health risks in mothers as well, including type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression.
3. Emotional bonding: The act of breast-feeding requires a closeness between mother and child unmatched by formula feeding. The physical contact is important for the baby, making them feel safe, warm and secure; it can have the same effect on the mother while also allowing her to relax, something she may not choose to do while baby is formula-feeding.
4. Safety: Ever wonder what you'd do if disaster struck and your ability to feed your baby were compromised? If you breast-feed, you can relax; after all, a safe, balanced food supply is readily available. Contaminated water supply? No problem. No hot water to sterilize baby bottles? No problem. No baby bottles at all? No problem.
Talk to your doctor of chiropractic for more information about how to ensure your health and the health of your child, and visit WomensHealth.gov to learn more about the many benefits of breast-feeding.