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A mother cuddling their baby

Becoming a parent is an exciting and joyous time. It is also a time in a person’s life that they are hit with a lot of important and huge decisions. Many of those decisions will need to be made before the baby arrives. One extremely important decision that parents need to make before their baby arrives is whether they are going to breastfeed or to formula feed their child.

While formula is a great option for many families who cannot breastfeed, breastfeeding can offer many benefits to developing babies. There are some amazing and unique benefits that can only be provided by breastmilk. Because of these benefits many people refer to breastmilk as “liquid gold”. Some of the benefits that breastfeeding can offer babies include the following:

Nutrition. Breastmilk provides just the right amount of fat, protein, carbohydrates, and water that a baby needs to thrive. The milk changes overtime to adjust for the different developmental stages of the baby. It is recommended that babies be feed only breastmilk for the first six months of life. Breastmilk will provide all that the baby needs to grow, so there is no need to add cereal to the milk or feed the baby any baby food until after six months.

Easily digestible. Breastmilk is easier for a baby’s tummy to digest. All babies will have gas as their gut adjusts to learning to digest breastmilk or formula. However, breastfed babies will typically have less digestive issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, excessive gas, or constipation.

Antibodies. Babies are born with a weak immune system. By breastfeeding, a mom is able to pass on her antibodies, which protects the baby from ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory illness, and allergies. Moms can even express/pump breastmilk when they have the flu or stomach bug to pass those antibodies to protect the baby from those illnesses.

Reduces the risk of SIDS and other health problems. Breastfeeding reduces a baby’s risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It also reduces their risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and childhood leukemia and lymphoma.

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