Benefits of Breastfeeding: Part 2

Posted by elizjcurran on November 17, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Reblog from this website. Might want to head there for an easier read:

Our topic this month is:


The Benefits of Breastfeeding


Breastfeeding has so many benefits for the mother, baby, and even society I am going to discuss a few here and then continue to work on more in later posts. These will be documented benefits not just my own opinion. This will not be an exhaustive list, just what I find useful when working with moms who are asking questions about nursing their babies.


INFANTS: Decreases obesity of child


Breastfeeding decreases the risk for obesity in later life. Many studies have been done that show that the longer you breastfeed your baby the lower the chances of obesity later in life. Protection against obesity continues through teenage years into adulthood. Also the incidences of childhood obesity is decreased with a child has been breastfed.


A study of 2,087 children has concluded that babies breastfed for at least a year are leaner than those weaned earlier. Babies never breastfed were the most likely to be overweight. (1)


“For each month of breastfeeding up to age 9 months, the odds of overweight decreased by 4%. This decline resulted in more than a 30% decrease in the odds of overweight for a child breastfed for 9 months when the comparison was with a child never breastfed.” (2)


Exclusive breastfeeding seems to have better effect against obesity than breastfeeding and formula combined, but more research is needed. “Bottle-fed full-term infants who are appropriate for gestational age have a 3.2 times greater risk of rapid weight gain between ages 2 and 6 years when compared to breastfed infants.” (5)




There are several thoughts about why breastfeeding reduces the risk of a child being overweight.

1.Because a breastfed baby can control how much milk they get they are able to self regulate their intake of food. Formula feed babies are generally fed based on how much is left in the bottle.

2.“Formula-fed infants have higher plasma insulin concentrations and a more prolonged insulin response. Higher insulin concentrations stimulate more deposition of fat tissue, which in turn increases weight gain, obesity, and risk of type 2 diabetes. Also, the high protein intake of formula-fed infants may stimulate the secretion of insulin.” (2)

3.A study has shown that babies who had the highest breast milk intake had better leptin levels. Leptin is the hormone that is said to decrease appetite and control how fat a person is.


My opinion?


The fact that a baby can control the amount of food that he/she is getting during a feeding makes the most sense to me. Many times I have seen parents lovingly have their baby finish a bottle because the doctor said the baby should drink such and such an amount at each feeding. I know personally I have done this. With my first two children I was only able to breastfeed for a short period of time. When I was forced to change over to formula feeding I remember watching the bottle and checking how much he/she got at each feeding and trying to have the baby finish the bottle. It is so different when nursing. When the baby is finished and full he/she just stops.




MOTHERS: Promotes mothers weight loss


During pregnancy a woman gains weight and body fat. Breastfeeding may help promote weight loss after you have her baby is born. “At 12 weeks postpartum, exclusively breastfeeding mothers had lost more total body weight than mixed feeding mothers.” (3) Studies vary but most point to a greater loss of weight in exclusively breastfeeding women than in women who do not breastfeed.


A breastfeeding mom can burn as many calories as an hour on a treadmill just by sitting and breastfeeding her baby. (4) Studies have shown that the weight reduction from breastfeeding continues years into a woman’s life even after she stops breastfeeding.


“In the short term, breastfeeding women experience greater weight and fat loss than non-breastfeeding women. Furthermore, women who breastfeed for longer than 6 months and those who do so exclusively are more likely to achieve greater weight loss.” (5)


My opinion?


What could it hurt? Some studies show a weight loss by breastfeeding exclusively and some show no significant difference. Breastfeeding has so many other benefits to the mom and baby that it seems worth it to me and hopefully we see some weight loss in the long run :-)




SOCIETY: Reduced parent absences from work


This is a double benefit: A breastfed baby is healthier and the parents have less time off from work due to illness. I like this one. “..breastfed babies are half as likely to get sick in the first year of life as those receiving artificial baby milks. If the baby doesn’t get sick as often, the mother will miss less time from work.” (6)


Breastfeeding a baby boosts his/her immune system and helps protect him/her from childhood illnesses, infections, and chronic conditions. When a child is attending a child care program while you are at work he/she is being exposed to many germs and viruses. Your breast milk gives your baby a strong defense against these infections. This means both mom and dad miss less work making the parents and the employer happy. But mostly making that dear baby happy.


One-day absences to care for sick children occur more than twice as often for mothers of formula-fed infants. (7)


My opinion?


I know that my babies that were breastfeed were sick less often than the two of my children that only had a short breastfeeding experience. so from personal experience, of which I have had a lot, I know this to be true.



What now? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.





Categories: Breastfeeding, Benefits, Concerns

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