100 Benefits of Breastfeeding Part 5

breastfeeding 3__1458691269_162.206.228.38Today is our last installment of our series on the 100 benefits of breastfeeding.  We’re thrilled to share the extraordinary powers that breastfeeding and breast milk can bring to babies, mothers, families and the world.  We hope this list has amazed and inspired you to breastfeed and advocate for breastfeeding.  Above all, we hope you see these numerous benefits of breastfeeding as the gift that keeps giving, and perhaps the most loving act a mother could ever do for her child.

81 – Breastfed babies tend to have a higher IQ and greater cognition in childhood and adulthood.  This goes for both intelligence level and academic achievement.

82 – Studies show social development is more advanced in babies who are breastfed for at least one year.

83 – Breastfeeding promotes oral motor development.  Babies who are exclusively bottle-fed may develop tongue thrust problems that can lead to improper mouth posture and strength. Breastfed babies statistically have better speech development.

84 – Breast milk can be used as a healing ointment for the entire family. It has powerful antimicrobial agents that are excellent for treating a variety of skin wounds including bites, stings, burns, rashes, cuts and infections.

85 – Breast milk can be used to improve your baby’s clogged tear ducts by simply rubbing it into the infected area.  It is also a great way to treat conjunctivitis (pinkeye) and can be used as a contact lens solution.

86 – For ear infections, drop breast milk into the ear canal to help relieve pain and encourage quicker healing.

87 – When your baby has a cold or congestion, gently squirt breast milk into his nose to clear nasal passages.

88 – Breast milk can help your baby if he has a sore throat.  It can even be gargled by other family members with sore throats to kill off bacteria that are causing symptoms.

89 – Breast milk is a superb anti-inflammatory, which can help clear up baby acne, alleviate eczema and keep your baby’s skin soft and smooth.  Many adults also use it as a facial cleanser or moisturizer to keep skin looking younger and more vibrant.

90 – Breastfeeding a first child often makes it easier to breastfeed subsequent children.  If your younger children are born prematurely or tend to get sick more often, being a veteran breasttfeeder will really come in handy.

91 – Breastfeeding is better for the environment because it requires no packaging, shipping or traveling to purchase supplies.

92 – Breastfeeding uses less water because none is required to make or clean bottles.

93 – Breastfeeding promotes optimal child spacing because ovulation is delayed and conception is less likely during this time.

94 – Breastfeeding is an opportunity to bond with other new mothers who are also nursing their babies.

95 – Your baby will know you better if you breastfeed because he will smell the unique scent of your milk.

96 – Breast milk can be frozen and stored for up to 5 months.  Even after you’ve stopped breastfeeding, your baby or toddler can enjoy the benefits of breast milk straight up, with cereal or as a nutritional boost in foods you cook or bake.

97 – You can help another baby by donating your unneeded breast milk.  This extreme act of altruism gives other babies the same great start to life you offered your own baby.

98 – Breastfeeding is a natural part of bearing children and becoming a mother.  You’re joining a club of mothers that have been breastfeeding for millions of years.

99 – Breastfeeding just feels good – for you and for your baby!

100 – Breastfeeding is a badge of honor you can wear knowing that you gave your baby the very best nutrition and nourishment from the beginning of your lifelong relationship of love.

100 Benefits of Breastfeeding Part 4

breastfeeding 4__1458691297_162.206.228.38We’re back with our series on 100 benefits of breastfeeding. Yesterday we focused on benefits for babies.  Today we’re looking at 20 ways that mothers benefit from breastfeeding.  From lowered risk of disease and better sleep, to faster recovery after childbirth and increased emotional stability, breastfeeding is great for moms too.  Find out how right now…

61 – Breastfeeding reduces postpartum depression in new moms.  It releases pleasure chemicals called endorphins that help mothers stay happy and positive throughout the challenges of parenting an infant.

62 – Mothers who breastfeed are less likely to get breast cancer later in life.  This may be due to the reduced estrogen levels from not having menstrual cycles during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

63 – Moms who nurse for a total of one to two years cumulatively also have 1/3 less likelihood of getting ovarian cancer.

64 – Breastfeeding helps prevent endometrial cancer and slows the progress of endometriosis.

65 – Women who do not breastfeed are four times more likely to get osteoporosis than those who do.

66 – After childbirth, breastfeeding promotes contractions in the uterus to encourage a faster release of the extra blood that was stored during pregnancy to support the baby.

67 – However, breastfeeding helps reduce the risk of postpartum hemorrhage.  The hormone oxytocin released during breastfeeding closes off the blood vessels that once fed the baby.

68 – Due to uterine contractions and the healthy release of blood, a nursing mom’s uterus returns to its original size (or close to it) quicker.

69 – Because their babies are healthier, mothers who breastfeed tend to miss less days of work.

70 – Breastfed babies have to see the doctor less often, saving on healthcare costs and time and effort spent getting to doctors.

71 – Families of breastfed babies spend less money on feeding supplies and have more money to spend on other items that improve the development of their babies.

72 – Breastfeeding burns up to 600 calories a day and therefore helps moms return to their pre-baby weight faster.

73 – Breastfeeding creates beautiful curves that moms can be proud of.

74 – Nursing moms typically don’t get their menstrual cycles back for several months after childbirth.

75 – Although not entirely reliable, breastfeeding is a natural contraceptive.  However, since it is hard to detect when ovulation occurs (and it can happen even without having a period) it is not fail-proof.

76 – Having less periods reduces a mother’s risk of developing anemia.

77 – Mothers who breastfeed tend to get more sleep because they do not need to prepare bottles in the middle of the night.

78 – Nursing moms also get more sleep because their babies are less fussy due to gas from swallowing too much air from a bottle.

79 – Furthermore, breastfeeding takes a lot of energy and makes moms tired at night.  This helps moms get deeper more restorative sleep.

80 – Breastfeeding gives mothers a peaceful break to sit down to nourish and nurture their babies for awhile several times a day.

100 Benefits of Breastfeeding Part 3

breastfeeding 5__1458691485_162.206.228.38If you’ve ever doubted the healing and preventative power of breastfeeding and breast milk, all you have to do is read the thousands of studies that show breastfed babies are healthiest.  Statistically, babies who are breastfed for at least six months avoid many diseases, conditions and illnesses and have stronger immune systems to fight off sickness when it occurs.  Here are 20 such benefits of breastfeeding for babies:

41 – Breastfed babies are overall healthier babies, children and adults.

42 – Breast milk is a natural pain reliever.  Giving medication to babies, especially newborns, is not recommended.  But breast milk is Mother Nature’s form of medicine for babies.

43 – Breastfed babies have a stronger gastrointestinal system.  They are less likely to get diarrheal infections or develop chronic digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease or colitis.

44 – Breastfeeding decreases risk of many childhood cancers including lymphomas and leukemia.

45 – Baby girls who are breastfed have a reduced risk of breast cancer when they get older.

46 – Breastfeeding reduces incidence of insulin resistance that causes juvenile diabetes (type 1 diabetes) and development of type 2 diabetes later in childhood or adulthood.

47 – Breastfed babies statistically have less allergies including food allergies, respiratory allergies and skin allergies.

48 – Breastfeeding promotes a healthy respiratory system.  Babies who are breastfed have less asthma and respiratory infections.

49 – Breastfeeding protects babies against bacterial meningitis.  Breast milk is a natural antibacterial that fights off the strain of bacteria that often causes inflammation of brain membranes known as meningitis.

50 – While the exact cause of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is unknown, breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS considerably.

51 – Breastfeeding keeps ears healthier.  Babies who are not breastfed are three to four times more likely to get ear infections.

52 – Breast milk promotes strong, healthy bones.  Bone density is stored from birth until the mid-thirties.  Giving your baby a good start by accumulating calcium early may prevent osteoporosis later in life.

53 – Studies show that breastfeeding reduces childhood and adulthood obesity, which has become a serious epidemic in the U.S.

54 – Breastfeeding protects the eyes because it is a wonderful source of Vitamin A.  Breastfed babies have less vision disorders.

55 – Breastfed babies are less likely to get haemophilus b. bacteria (Hib), a type of influenza of the respiratory system that can settle into the throat, ears and blood.

56 – Vaccines are more effective in breastfed babies.

57 – Breastfed babies are less likely to develop the debilitating disease multiple sclerosis (MS) later in life.

58 – Breastfeeding is better for dental health because it contains natural bacteria that prevent tooth decay.

59 – Breastfeeding is healthy for teeth and jaw development because the act of sucking at the breast takes a lot of energy and strength.

60 – Breastfed babies tend to need less orthodontia as they age.

100 Benefits of Breastfeeding Part 2

breastfeeding 1__1458690990_162.206.228.38Today we’re bringing you the second part of our week-long series on the benefits of breastfeeding.  We are focusing on many of the wonderful ways breastfeeding and breast milk benefit newborns as they acclimate to sustaining themselves outside the womb, as well as the vast emotional benefits that breastfeeding offers mothers and babies.

21 – Breastfeeding promotes the bond between mother and child.  Holding your baby close and sharing this one-of-a-kind experience helps secure a lifelong relationship.

22 – Babies’ heart rates sync with their mothers during breastfeeding.  This can help steady the baby’s heart beat into a healthy rhythm.

23 – Babies’ temperature regulates during breastfeeding due to the proximity to mom and the fluctuating temperature of breast milk to meet the needs of your baby.

24 – Premature babies are more likely to survive when they are breastfed.

25 – Breastfeeding is emotionally satisfying to both mothers and babies.

26 – Breastfeeding gives babies ample skin-to-skin contact with mom, which is essential for their physical, mental and emotional development.

27 – Breastfeeding comforts babies and helps calm them during fussy times.

28 – Breastfeeding can help your baby recover from sickness faster.  Breast milk changes to meet the needs of your baby and can provide extra nutrients, antioxidants and antibodies during times of illness to boost your baby’s immune responses.

29 – Breastfeeding helps mothers get to know their babies better.  Spending quality time together allows moms to recognize different cries, learn their baby’s likes and dislikes and soak in the preciousness of their little baby.

30 – Breastfeeding is an ideal part of a healthy bedtime routine.

31 – Breast milk contains natural bio-chemicals and neurotransmitters that promote drowsiness and can encourage healthy sleep habits.

32 – Newborns’ vision is weak at birth but the distance between themselves and their mothers while breastfeeding is their optimal view.

33 – Babies get to know their mothers better because they can stare at them during feedings.  This connection is invaluable for an infant.

34 – Babies have an innate need to suck.  Breastfeeding allows babies to suck without swallowing extra air.

35 – Mothers and babies get to spend more time together when breastfeeding.

36 – Breast milk is odorless and helps your baby smell fresh.

37 – Breast milk soothes the digestive tract for less tummy aches, gas, constipation and diarrhea.

38 – Breastfed babies’ poop has less of a displeasing odor.

39 – Breast milk spit-up is relatively easy to clean and usually does not leave stains on your clothes or your baby’s clothes.

40 – Mothers who breastfeed have a unique sense of pride over their baby’s incredible growth and development based on the amazing nutrition they have offered through breastfeeding.

100 Benefits of Breastfeeding Part 1

breastfeeding 2__1458691025_162.206.228.38We often tout the incredible benefits of breastfeeding on our blog and on social media.  Individually they are certainly fantastic, but taking a look at all of the benefits of breastfeeding together makes you realize how undeniably, extraordinarily, miraculous breastfeeding and breast milk can be.  From the physical, emotional and cognitive benefits, to the preventative and economical benefits, babies, mothers, families and communities all reap the advantages of this amazing, natural act.

Saturday, April 9 marks the 100th day of 2016.  To celebrate 100 days of this glorious year, we’re sharing 100 benefits of breastfeeding throughout the week.  Each day we’ll have a new installment of the phenomenal benefits of breastfeeding.  We hope you enjoy this series.  Share your feedback with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

1 – Breast milk is the perfect nutrition for your baby. With hundreds of essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats, breast milk gives your baby the best start in life.

2 – Breast milk is a whole food and can completely sustain your baby’s nutritional needs in early infancy.

3 – Breast milk is easily digestible for your baby because it was made specifically for him.

4 – Breastfeeding is one of the most instinctual womanly acts on the planet.  It has been happening since the dawn of mammals.

5 – The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding for at least the first six months of your baby’s life and continuing for one year or more even after introducing solids.

6 – Breastfeeding is the best way to build your baby’s immature immune system.  It contains a variety of supercharged antibodies to protect your baby from pathogens that may enter his system.

7 – The earliest type of breast milk known as colostrum is ideal for newborns because it is highly concentrated with fat, protein and calories required during the first few days of life.

8 – Colostrum also helps newborns pass meconium, which is the dark sticky poop that travels through a baby’s intestines.

9 – Breast milk changes to meet the specific nutritional needs of your baby as he grows and develops.

10 – Breast milk tastes great!

11 – The flavor of your breast milk changes based on your diet so your baby shouldn’t get bored with the same old meal day-in and day-out.

12 – Breastfeeding is an early phase of palate training because you can expose your baby to a variety of flavors in your diet through your breast milk.  This encourages a more diverse and healthy diet as your child ages.

13 – Breast milk is readily available when you are with your baby.

14 – Breastfeeding is convenient as you don’t have the hassle of preparing bottles or bringing extra supplies when you’re on-the-go.

15 – Breast milk is always the perfect temperature.  Picky babies won’t need it warmed and you never have to worry about overheating it.

16 – Breastfeeding is cheaper because it is free.  You’ll save lots of money by breastfeeding.

17 – Breastfeeding is better for the world economy because it doesn’t require subsidies and reduces the overall cost of healthcare due to less sickness from mothers and babies.

18 – Breastfeeding sustains life across the globe.  It is encouraged by the World Health Organization and UNICEF as the healthiest nutritional choice for babies.

19 – Fresh breast milk is extremely pure.  You don’t have to worry about bacteria or contamination.  In fact, breast milk is an antimicrobial agent in and of itself.

20 – Breastfeeding is a gift you can give your baby that will last a lifetime.