Breastfeeding, when it’s possible, is one of the best things you can do for your baby:
- Breastfeeding provides the ideal nutrition for infants. It has a nearly perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat – everything your baby needs to grow.
- Breast milk is much easier for your baby to digest than infant formula.
- Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria.
- Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of asthma, allergies, ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea.
- Breastfed babies have fewer hospitalizations and trips to the doctor.
There are benefits to breastfeeding moms, too. Breastfeeding:
- Releases the hormone oxytocin. This helps you bond with your baby. It also helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth.
- Lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It may also lower your risk of osteoporosis.
- Burns extra calories, so it can help you lose pregnancy weight faster.