8 Things Moms Need to Know About Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding offers a wealth of benefits for mother and child, but is preventing food allergies one of them? Here are 8 things moms need to know about breastfeeding.
1. Provides Ideal Nutrition for Baby
Breast milk contains the ideal amount of fats, vitamins, and proteins to nourish your baby during his or her first months.
2. Builds Baby's Immunity
Breast milk is loaded with important proteins for your baby's immunity, including antibodies, lysozyme, and bifidus factor. These proteins help your baby fight off viruses and harmful bacteria.
3. Builds a Healthy Brain
Breastfeeding helps your baby develop a healthy brain and nervous system, thanks to Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and long chain fatty acids found in breast milk.
4. Lowers Risk of SIDS
According to NIH studies, breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
5. Increases Oxytocin
The hormone oxytocin increases while you breastfeed. It promotes contraction of the uterus, so it reduces blood loss after delivery and helps the uterus return to its normal size. Thus, oxytocin plays an important part in postpartum recovery.
6. Promotes Mother-Infant Bonding
Oxytocin also plays an important part in mother-infant bonding (it’s often called the “love hormone”). So, breastfeeding is an ideal way to strengthen the attachment between you and your child.
7. Does Not Prevent Food Allergies
As the new AAP guidelines reinforce, there is no conclusive evidence to prove that breastfeeding can prevent food allergies. If you choose to breastfeed, you'll also need to introduce your baby to allergenic foods early and often, starting between 4-11 months of age. Recent landmark studies show that early and sustained allergen introduction can help reduce your baby's risk of developing a food allergy by up to 80%.
8. You Can Start Early Allergen Introduction While Exclusively Breastfeeding
Even though the new AAP guidelines recommend starting allergen introduction as early as 4-6 months, many families want to breastfeed exclusively until their baby is at least 6 months old. Plus, many babies are not developmentally ready for solids at 4-6 months. Ready, Set, Food! easily dissolves into breast milk, allowing mothers to continue exclusively breastfeeding while safely introducing the allergenic foods needed to reduce their baby's food allergy risk.