Check out the top 5 reasons for breastfeeding your newborn:
- Nutrients and Protection – Breast milk is custom-made by each mother for her own baby, and contains the perfect amount of protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins and minerals. Remarkably, as your baby grows, your milk will also change to keep up with your baby’s needs. Breast milk contains valuable antibodies that help prevent disease and may reduce the risk of your baby developing allergies. After birth, your first milk, called colostrum, offers vital early protection and helps to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria by coating your baby’s digestive system. This early protection is even more important if your baby is born prematurely – colostrum protects!
- Brain Power – There is strong evidence that children who were breastfed score higher on IQ tests, as well as on teacher ratings of their academic performance.
- Convenient and Portable – Breast milk is always safe, fresh and exactly the right temperature. It’s ready for baby at a moment’s notice, and you don’t have to heat it, boil water, or sterilize bottles – no mess no stress. This makes night time feedings a lot easier. Since breast milk is always with you, traveling and shopping with your baby is simpler, with no equipment to carry or refrigeration needed.
- Benefits Mothers Too – Research suggests that breastfeeding provides a measure of protection against breast cancer, ovarian cancer and weak bones later in life. Your body uses calories to produce milk, so breastfeeding can help you to gradually lose weight gained during pregnancy.
- Continues the Special Relationship – The closeness and comfort of breastfeeding strengthens the bond with your baby, as one part of all the things you can do to build a secure, loving relationship. Dads and moms can’t spoil a baby, so give your baby all the cuddling she or he wants.
Check out this newly released breast feeding promotion video, called You Won’t Regret It, produced here in Newfoundland and Labrador. This celebrity-packed exploration of the choice of breastfeeding is a must-see for its entertainment value alone. (And it even features Krystin Pellerin and Andy Jones, two of the Very Special Guests appearing at our upcoming Kids Eat Smart Foundation Gala – Alice in Newfoundland!)
You can also find more information on breastfeeding from the Baby-Friendly Council of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Information for this post was also sourced from 10 Great Reasons to Breastfeed your Baby by Public Health Agency of Canada in partnership with the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada.
Kristin Harris is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador.