Breastfeeding is nature’s perfect way of giving babies exactly what they need to thrive. Indeed, a mother’s milk is automatically tailored to suit the baby as it gets older, gradually adapting to the baby’s changing needs as they grow. That’s incredible when you think about it.
Breastfeeding has an enormous range of benefits to the baby — perhaps many more than most people realise. What’s more, breastfeeding is hugely beneficial to the mother too. In this article, we’ll explain the many benefits of breastfeeding in detail, so mums are well-informed, enabling easier decisions around breastfeeding and how long to continue it in a child’s early life.
The Benefits of Breastfeeding
Benefits to Baby
Babies benefit enormously from breast milk; from simple, practical considerations to major health benefits, many of which continue to benefit them into adulthood. Let’s take a look:
- Virtually every baby loves the taste of breast milk. That’s important.
- Breastfeeding newborns passes important antibodies straight to the baby from its earliest age. What better way to counter viruses right from the outset.
- Breast milk also contains important vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and even hormones. All of these help the infant’s development. Of particular note are the polyunsaturated fatty acids, which help with early brain development.
- Statistics suggest that babies are less likely to develop asthma and allergic rhinitis if they have been breastfed for at least the first 3 months.
- They’re also less likely to develop childhood leukaemia if they have been breastfed for at least 6 months.
- Historical data also suggests that children suffer less from food allergies, eczema and wheezing if they have been breastfed.
- Incidences of ear, respiratory and gastrointestinal infection are lower amongst breastfed children, as are cases of diarrhoea.
- Breastfeeding reduces the incidences of children developing Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC) or dying from SADS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- As we mentioned in our introduction, breast milk adapts and changes to suit the precise needs of the baby as it grows older. That’s true tailoring for babies, in its most natural, healthy form.
- As its taste also adapts, the infant gets used to more flavours, ready for weaning onto solids, usually at any time from the age of 6 months.
Benefits to Mum
Breastfeeding also has a range of significant health (and other) benefits for mothers. These include:
- A lower risk of developing obesity or Type 2 Diabetes;
- A lower risk of developing ovarian and breast cancer;
- A lower risk of developing osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease;
- A faster return of the uterus to its normal size;
- A swift and closer bond between mother and baby;
- The faster return of the menstrual cycle (potentially useful for family planning considerations).
Additional Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breast milk is free, so is also a money-saver! It can also be given to baby pretty much anywhere, any time, quickly and without the need for special equipment or preparation.
Breastfed milk also helps the planet, of course. After all, there’s no packaging to dispose of, no carbon footprint caused by manufacturing or shipping/delivery pollutants and no greenhouse gas-producing dairy herds involved in its production. It’s the greenest food out there, when you think about it!
Breast milk is as natural as natural gets!
The big one, though, is that breast milk is as natural as natural gets! This unique, tailored infant food is free of added colourings, artificial ingredients, E numbers and dairy products and indeed actively helps children to be more physiologically resistant to allergens and diseases. And there is no formula milk on the planet that adapts itself so perfectly as breast milk, totally naturally and automatically, when it comes to the precise needs of a growing child.
Baby Milk at Little Cedars Nursery
The childcare professionals at Little Cedars Nursery are keen to fall in with the wishes of parents when it comes to baby and infant milk. To that end, parents are free to supply breast milk or formula milk, as preferred, for children under our care. When doing so, we recommend use of cool bags for this purpose, along with clear labelling, so we can match the right milk with the right infant.
If parents elect to supply formula milk instead, they do not need to make it up as our childcare staff can freshly mix and prepare it as needed, at appropriate times during the day.
Nursing mums also have access to a private space in which to feed their child at the nursery, whenever needed.
A Place for your Baby, Toddler or Preschooler in our Streatham Nursery
Little Cedars is an outstanding nursery in Streatham, London SW16. Contact us if you are looking for a high quality nursery near you, close to Furzedown, Tooting or Balham, SW16. To learn more about the childcare setting and to explore the possibility of a place for your baby or child, please select a button below to make contact with us.