Breastfeeding offers an unparalleled way to protect your baby from illness and disease. Because it is perfectly formulated to meet the needs of your child, breastmilk offers the perfect combination of nutrients, antibodies, enzymes and immune factors to keep your baby healthy and thriving. Here are 15 ways that breastfeeding boosts your baby’s immune system and protects your little one from harmful illnesses.
- Breastfed babies are less likely to develop diarrheal disease. Statistics suggest that formula fed babies are 3-4 times more likely to suffer from gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting. This is because breastmilk stimulates the growth of good bacteria and prebiotics in the digestive tract impeding the growth of bad bacteria and preventing it from attaching to the intestines.
- Breastfed babies are less likely to develop ear infections.
- Breastfed babies are less likely to be hospitalized with a respiratory infection. Research suggests that formula-fed babies may be as much as 3 times more likely to suffer from severe respiratory illnesses like bronchitis, croup and pneumonia.
- Breastfed babies are 34 % less likely to develop juvenile diabetes.
- Breastfed babies are less likely to develop childhood cancer. Formula-fed infants may be as much as 8 times more likely to develop childhood onset cancer than babies who are breastfed for at least six months.
- Breastfed babies are less likely to develop urinary tract infections.
- Breastfed babies have fewer cavities than formula fed babies.
- Breastfed babies are significantly less likely to develop certain types of spinal meningitis.
- Breastfed babies typically have lower blood pressure than formula fed babies and are less likely to develop heart disease.
- Breastfed babies have a lower risk of obesity. Some studies suggest that formula fed babies are 20-30 percent more likely to struggle with obesity.
- Breastfed babies born into families with allergies are less likely to develop a milk allergy and less likely to develop problems with eczema.
- Babies who are breastfed for six or more months are less likely to get leukemia and lymphoma.
- Breastfed babies have been found to have a 36-50 percent reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Breastfed babies typically have fewer cavities than formula fed babies.
- Breastfed babies may be less likely to develop psychological and behavioral problems.
To learn more about the great benefits of breastfeeding or for questions about having a natural birth, contact Health Foundations for a free consultation with a midwife and for a tour of our Birth Center.