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Breastfeeding benefits for you and your baby

Learn about the breastfeeding benefits for you and your baby in this article in Mom & Me. Click here and learn everything you need to know about it.

6 mins to read Jan 3, 2016

Motherhood is all about close and beneficial moments between parents and babies, and it’s time to talk about a topic that resonates deeply with new moms and their little ones: the breastfeeding benefits. Beyond being a beautiful bonding experience, this offers a treasure trove of advantages for both mother and baby.

Breastfeeding is not just a method; it's a powerful connection that offers a multitude of advantages that extend far beyond simple nourishment. Breastfeeding is a nutritional powerhouse, providing infants with nutrition and antibodies crucial for their optimal growth and development.

However, understanding the benefits of breastfeeding is vital to understanding why it´s so important for the baby and their development.

In Mom & Me, we'll dive deeper into these breastfeeding benefits and challenges to support you on this incredible journey with your baby.

Breastfeeding Benefits: Vitamins and minerals

Let's unravel the nutritional marvel that is breastfeeding by spotlighting the essential vitamins and minerals crucial for both mother and baby. Breast milk is a dynamic cocktail of nutrients that adapts to meet the changing needs of your growing infant.


This mineral isn't just essential for your baby's bone development, it also plays a pivotal role in nerve function and blood clotting. Moms who breastfeed need to ensure they're getting enough calcium in their diets to support both their health and the development of their baby's tiny bones.


Breast milk contains a form of iron that is highly absorbable, promoting optimal brain development in infants. However, breastfeeding moms need to maintain adequate iron levels themselves, as it can deplete maternal iron stores. Including iron-rich foods in your diet or taking a supplement can help meet these needs.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Crucial for brain development, omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, are present in breast milk. Including sources of omega-3s, such as fatty fish or flaxseeds, in the maternal diet ensures that these essential fats are passed on to the baby through breastfeeding.

Understanding the intricate dance of vitamins and minerals in breast milk unveils the remarkable nature of this nourishing elixir for your baby. That’s why these nutrients are vital in the breastfeeding benefits.

A baby enjoying the benefits of breastfeeding while eating.

Benefits for the Baby

Breastfeeding isn't just a mealtime routine, it's a symphony of nourishment that profoundly impacts your baby's health and development.

First, breast milk is a powerhouse of antibodies and immune-boosting substances. Colostrum is especially potent in providing a shield against infections. This immune support extends throughout breastfeeding, offering continuous protection against a myriad of illnesses.

Breast milk is also a dynamic source of nutrients crucial for growth and development. The perfect balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates ensures that your little one's organs, tissues, and brain receive the nourishment required for optimal function. The bioavailability of these nutrients in breast milk surpasses any formula, making it the gold standard for infant nutrition.

The breastfeeding benefits extend beyond the physical realm, influencing your baby's cognitive and emotional well-being. The act of breastfeeding promotes bonding between mother and child, fostering a sense of security and comfort. The skin-to-skin contact releases oxytocin contributing to a deep emotional connection.

Breastfeeding has been also associated with a decreased risk of chronic conditions in later life. From a lower likelihood of allergies and asthma to a reduced risk of obesity and diabetes, the long-term advantages of breastfeeding set the stage for a healthier future for your little one.

So, if you want to give your baby the best nutrition, breastfeeding is the cornerstone of this important moment of their development.

Benefits for the Mother

While the spotlight often shines on the breastfeeding benefits bestowed upon babies, let's take a moment to talk about the incredible advantages that breastfeeding brings to mothers. Beyond the joyous bonding experience, breastfeeding provides a range of physical and emotional benefits for moms.

Postpartum Weight Loss

Breastfeeding is a natural ally in the postpartum weight loss journey. The process of producing milk burns extra calories, aiding in shedding those pregnancy pounds.

While the rate of weight loss varies for each mom, the gentle, gradual effect of breastfeeding aligns with a healthy and sustainable approach to postpartum fitness.

Uterine Contractions and Recovery

The release of oxytocin during breastfeeding not only fosters emotional bonding but also triggers uterine contractions.

These contractions help the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size more quickly, potentially reducing the risk of postpartum haemorrhage. It's nature's way of assisting in the postpartum recovery process.

Hormonal Harmony

Breastfeeding contributes to hormonal balance, particularly in reducing the levels of estrogen. This can be advantageous for some mothers, potentially delaying the return of menstrual cycles.

While this effect varies, many moms appreciate the temporary respite from menstruation as they navigate the demands of early motherhood.

Reduced Risk of Postpartum Depression

The emotional connection forged during breastfeeding isn't just a sweet moment with your baby; it can be a powerful weapon against postpartum depression.

The physical and emotional aspects of breastfeeding contribute to a sense of accomplishment and well-being, potentially reducing the risk of postpartum blues.

With these breastfeeding benefits that we just saw, It's clear that this is more than a biological process; it's a symphony of love and nourishment that weaves together the intricate threads of motherhood.

A mom enjoying quality time with his baby in bed.

How to Overcome Breastfeeding Challenges?

There are bound to be obstacles along the way. But fear not, for overcoming breastfeeding challenges is part of the empowering narrative of motherhood. Let's explore some common hurdles and strategies to navigate them.

1. Latch Issues

Ensuring a proper latch is fundamental to successful breastfeeding. If you're experiencing pain or your baby is having difficulty latching, seek guidance from a lactation consultant. They can provide invaluable tips and techniques to help you and your baby find a comfortable and effective latch.

2. Low Milk Supply

For some moms, concerns about low milk supply can create anxiety. Increasing breastfeeding frequency, practising skin-to-skin contact, and proper hydration are key strategies. Additionally, consult with a lactation specialist to explore techniques and dietary adjustments that can support milk production.

3. Engorgement and Mastitis

Engorgement, a common early breastfeeding woe, can lead to mastitis if not addressed. Regular feeding, proper latching, and gentle breast massage can help alleviate engorgement. If you notice signs of mastitis, such as fever or redness, consult your healthcare provider promptly.

4. Sore Nipples

Sore nipples can be a roadblock to breastfeeding comfort. Ensure correct latch, keep nipples dry between feedings, and consider using lanolin or other nipple creams for relief. If soreness persists, seek guidance from a lactation consultant to address any underlying issues.

5. Balancing Work and Breastfeeding

Returning to work while breastfeeding poses a unique set of challenges. Plan by establishing a pumping routine, communicating with your employer about breastfeeding accommodations, and maintaining a supportive network. Utilize resources provided by your workplace, such as lactation rooms, to make the transition smoother.

6. Teething and Distractions

As your baby grows and teething begins, breastfeeding may become challenging due to discomfort. Gentle teething remedies and maintaining a quiet, calm environment during feedings can help. Minimize distractions to keep your baby focused during nursing sessions.

For your baby, it's a journey of unparalleled benefits — a robust immune system, optimal growth, and the foundation for a healthy future. For mothers, it's a tapestry of empowerment — from the natural aid in postpartum weight loss to the harmonizing effect on hormones. The act of breastfeeding is a source of physical healing and emotional well-being.

As you navigate the challenges and joys of motherhood, remember that breastfeeding is more than a nourishing act; it's a celebration of the symbiotic dance between you and your baby.

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