2. Formula fed babies have an increased risk of ear infections
Infants are 3 – 4 times more prevalent in formula-fed babies compared to those that are breastfed.
3. Breastfed babies have fewer allergies than formula fed babies.
Formula fed babies have an increased risk of developing allergies especially if their family has a history of allergies. Babies are frequently allergic to cow’s milk formula and some even to soy formula. Breastfeeding also protects against other allergies such as atopic eczema, food and respiratory allergies.
4. Aids in correct intestinal development
The digestive tract of a newborn is still permeable and is susceptible to viruses, bacteria and other toxins until it matures. The gastrointestinal system matures more quickly in breastfed babies. Dr Jack Newman (http://www.promom.org/bf_info/sci_am.htm ) states “…certain hormones in milk (such as cortisol) and smaller proteins (including epidermal growth factor, nerve growth factor, insulin-like growth factor and somatomedin C) act to close up the leaky mucosal lining of the newborn, making it relatively impermeable to unwanted pathogens and other potentially harmful agents. Indeed, animal studies have demonstrated that postnatal development of the intestine occurs faster in animals fed their mother’s milk. And animals that also receive colostrum, containing the highest concentrations of epidermal growth factor, mature even more rapidly.”
5. Reduces risk of breast cancer in breastfeeding mothers
Many studies show that women who breastfeed their babies lowers their risk of getting breast cancer which means that by not breastfeeding your baby increases your risk.
6. Mothers increase their risk of ovarian cancer if they choose not to breastfeed
Your risk of getting ovarian cancer can be reduced by about one third if you breastfeed your child for 12 – 24 months.
7. Increases risk of breast cancer in formula fed baby girls later in life
Women have higher rates of breast cancer if they were formula fed as infants. Even if they were only breastfed for a short time, women had a 25% lower risk for breast cancer compared with formula fed babies.
8. Protects against Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is a chronic intestinal disorder and a form of inflammatory bowel disease which is difficult to treat. Many studies show that breastfeeding may help the child in avoiding developing the disease as they grow up.
9. Breastfed babies have lower risks of developing infant asthma
Lack of breastfeeding has been linked to asthma in a number of studies. One study stated if babies were not exclusively breastfed for at least four months they were more likely to have asthma by the time they were six years old.
10. Protects baby against diarrheal infections
Many studies indicate that formula-fed babies are more likely to contract diarrheal infections. This is true worldwide despite misconceptions that only people in areas with contaminated water are affected. Fatalities from diarrheal infections are more likely in developing countries but all formula-fed babies have a greater risk than those that are breastfed.
11. Protects against bacterial meningitis
Meningitis is an infection causing inflammation of the membrane covering both the brain and spinal cord and can be caused by a bacteria known as Hemophilus influenzae type b or Hib. Breastfeeding protects against infections caused by this bacteria and therefore also against meningitis.
12. Protects baby from respiratory infections
Studies show that breastfed babies are less than half as likely to be hospitalized with bronchiolitis or pneumonia and have a fifth of the number of lower respiratory tract infection compared to formula-fed babies. Breastfeeding protects infants from life threatening respiratory infections including those caused by rotaviruses. There is a relatively new vaccine out against rotavirus and this is unnecessary if you choose to breastfeed your baby. Recent studies show that in developed countries, the risk of severe respiratory tract illness requiring hospitalization has more than tripled in formula-fed babies compared to those that were exclusively breastfed for four months.
13. Improves the effectiveness of vaccinations
Breastfed babies illustrated better serum and secretory results for both oral and parenteral vaccines compared to formula-fed infants.
14. Formula fed babies have a higher risk of developing certain childhood cancers
Through a study done at the University of Minnesota, it was found that infants who were breastfed for six months had a 30% less chance of getting leukemia compared to formula fed babies. Infants breast fed for at least one month had a 21% chance of getting leukemia.
15. Formula-fed babies run a higher risk of developing diabetes
Many studies link the lack of breastfeeding to Type 1 diabetes and there are new studies linking it to Type 2 diabetes as well.
16. Breastfeeding reduces insulin requirements in diabetic mothers
After giving birth, mother who choose to breastfeed had a significantly bigger reduction in insulin dosage compared with those that formula-fed their babies.
17. Protects infant against some vision defects
During the first two years of a child’s life (or until they are weaned) breast milk normally is the main source of vitamin A. A study in Bangladesh concluded that breastfeeding was one factor protecting preschoolers from night blindness.
18. Formula-fed babies have a higher risk of obesity as they grow up
Many studies have shown that breastfed babies tended to have a significantly lower risk of obesity compared with formula-fed babies.
19. Reduces likelihood of developing rheumatoid arthritis
A Swedish study showed that rheumatoid arthritis is less likely in adults if they were breastfed as babies. Another study by University of North Carolina/Duke University revealed breastfed children were only 40% as likely to develop juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
20. Decreases chances of contracting Hodgkin’s disease
Hodgkins diseased is cancer of the lymph system that can develop in children but is less likely to do so if the children were breastfed as babies.
21. Shorter pre- and post-surgical fasting
Children having elective surgery may breastfeed until three hours before they arrive at the hospital.
22. Reduces the likelihood of developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
NEC normally occurs in premature or sick newborns where the lining of the intestinal wall dies and pulls away. An Australian study stated that approximately 83% of NEC cases may be due to the absence of breastfeeding.
23. Lowers chance of developing high cholesterol
24. Reduced likelihood of suffering from eczema
Studies show that eczema is less likely in breastfed babies. Eczema causes and itchy rash on the skin.
25. Multiple sclerosis linked to lack of breastfeeding
There are many factors that contribute to the development of this disease later in life but one of those factors is a lack of breastfeeding.
26. Reduced likelihood of baby developing urinary tract infections
According to one study urinary tract infections are five times more likely in bottle-fed babies compared with those that are breastfed.
27. May lower blood pressure
Studies in the United Kingdom have shown that lower blood pressure is associated with breastfed babies compared to those fed formula. That may continue to have an effect later in adult life as well.
28. Decreases likelihood of suffering from osteoporosis
Studies show that both mother and children from the breastfeeding partnership will be less likely to get osteoporosis. A study determined that the odds of getting the disease were four times higher for those mothers that didn’t breastfeed. A study conducted by the MRC Childhood Nutrition Research Center of London concluded that 8 year olds who had not been breastfed had less developed bone mineralization compared with previously breastfed kids.
29. May help alleviate progress of maternal endometriosis
Women suffering from endometriosis, a disease where the endometrial tissue forms in places other than the uterus causing painful complications and even sterility, can be halted by breastfeeding as it delays the onset of the menstrual cycle. Some sufferers even claim it can cure it permanently.
30. Postpartum hemorrhaging in mother prevented by suckling baby
Oxytocin is released in the mother as she breastfeeds her baby. This causes contractions in the uterus helping it to regain its pre-pregnancy size while expelling the placenta. The contractions also cut off the blood vessels in the mother that previously fed the baby and depresses excessive blood loss. Mothers who elect not to breastfeed are given synthetic oxytocin to prevent hemorrhaging.
31. Failure to breastfeed increases mother’s risk of endometrial cancer
According a study by the World Health Organization, the longer a woman breastfeeds the less likely she is to get endometrial cancer.
Read More About The Benefits of Breastfeeding:
Breast is Best Giant List of Breastfeeding Benefits
Top 15 Reasons to Breastfeed
Environmental Benefits of Breastfeeding
Financial Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Benefits To Baby
Breastfeeding Benefits to Mother
Extended Breastfeeding Benefits