It is evident that your baby needs a lot of breast milk and this is more so in the first months of his life. The fact that every specialist from doctors to nutritionists will recommend breastfeeding your infant for at least six months exclusively should be enough to convince any mom. But what you might not know is that breast milk can also have some benefits for the mom. Perhaps knowing some of these benefits should give you a reason why you should not discard that extra breast milk that you pump.
Breast Milk Benefits for the Baby
#1 Improved Immunity
Breast milk is a natural way of improving your baby’s immunity. In fact, there is enough research out there to prove that babies that breastfeed exclusively for at least six months will have fewer incidences of colds and viruses. There are different compounds in the breast milk that help to boost their immunity and hence improve the infant’s overall health. And there are also some studies that suggest that breastfeeding your infant can offer him long-term protection against type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and many other chronic conditions.
#2 Lower SIDs Risk
SIDs is most new mothers’ worst nightmare because nobody wants to imagine it happening to their little angel. What makes it worse is that there is almost nothing that you can do to predict or prevent it. However, some studies show that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of SIDs by up to 50%. And so breast milk might be one of the few ways to lower your baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
#3 Growth and Development
Although companies that manufacture baby formula will always tell you that their products contain everything that babies need, nothing beats breast milk. Breast milk not only provides all the essential compounds that aid in growth and development of the baby but also in the right amounts. And so with breast milk, you can be sure that your infant is getting all the nutrition that he needs and even his complete daily requirement of water.
Breast Milk Benefits for the Mom
#1 Energy Boost
Can you drink your own breast milk? Many moms will ask themselves or someone this question at some point. Although there are differing opinions out there on this matter, the fact is that there is nothing wrong with drinking your breast milk. In fact, it is a useful method to boost your energy levels. With all the vitamins and proteins in breast milk, taking a small cup of it can give you a significant energy boost after a long and tiring day caring for your baby.
#2 Good for Acne
If you are struggling with an acne break out while you are breastfeeding, you might already have the solution in your breasts. A University of California study from a while back proposed that the lauric acid in the human breast milk can help to treat and manage acne. Applying a small amount of the milk to your face often will yield some positive results after a while.
#3 Cancer Management/ Treatment
There is still not enough proof that drinking breast milk can cure some cancer types, but there is some research that suggests this. One of the most notable or leading studies on this subject is from Gothenburg University, Sweden that suggested that a compound in breast milk, HAMLET can be useful in attaching cancer cells. But even with the limited research on this benefit, there is no harm in taking it as it still has many other benefits for moms.
Breastfeeding is beneficial for both mom and baby. It is also the time that you get to create a lifetime bond with your little one. But besides from the act of breastfeeding the milk also comes with some benefits for the baby and mom. While for infants it helps in their growth and development, improves their immunity and lowers their risk of SIDs, for moms breast milk will help to provide some energy boost and can also help them deal with acne. And so if you are not sure whether or not to take your breast milk now you have some reasons to convince you why you should not throw away any leftover or extra milk.
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