It is hardly surprising to know that breast-feeding is the best option for babies especially during the first year of life. No sane doctor will tell you otherwise. It is said that all babies on a mandatory basis be fed breast milk exclusively for the first six months of their life. While this sounds difficult it is highly doable as long as you are determined and have sufficient amount of discipline to be able to produce milk for that long.
Here Are Some Of The Long-Term Benefits Of Breast-Feeding
It Tackles Obesity
Breast fed babies are rarely obese. In fact, most of them gain good, consistent weight that is appropriate to their weight and age charts. This is especially true for the first six months. Even if a baby does not look overly chubby or cute, rest assured, he is in the prime of health. Children who are exclusively breast-fed do not have to battle bulge once they start to grow up. This is especially true in adolescence and adulthood.
Fewer Tummy Troubles
Not only is breast milk easy to digest, but it is also loaded with antibodies that prevent the baby from developing a stomach infection. That means that they are less susceptible to diarrhoea and gastro intestinal infections as they grow up.
They are also less likely to suffer from celiac disease, which interferes in the absorption of nutrients from solid food. This is especially true in babies who are nursed along with consuming solid food.
Fewer Ear Infections
All the infections that seemingly occur in babies are devoid in breast-fed infants. Babies who are breast-fed have fewer ear infections as compared to their formula counterparts.
Allergic reactions are very common in young infants and babies.This is especially true for colds and sneezing. However, babies who are breast fed, manage to escape most allergies altogether. This includes allergies like flu, asthma, skin allergies like eczema and food based allergies. Breast milk helps the body to develop strong anti bodies, which protect the body from triggering an allergy.
Recent research has postulated that children who are breast-fed have higher IQ than their formula fed counterparts. They are more intelligent and perform better at school. It also boosts the IQ of babies who were born rather small i.e. 2.7 kgs or less. By the time these babies grow, they are as intelligent as the babies who were born heavier.
A Lower Risk Of SIDS
Breast-feeding also prevents crib death or SIDS (Sudden Death Infant Syndrome) in babies. The longer they are fed, the lower the risk of SIDS. The reasons for this are not clearly known but it is true for most breast fed babies.
Although the thought of feeding the child for at least a year is compelling, many mothers are unable to feed their beyond 6-8 months. That is either because the child automatically weans itself or the mother is simply not able to produce so much of milk. Whatever the reason, it is a good idea to feed the baby for at least 6 months, which is crucial for his/her development.