4 Immediate Benefits of Breastfeeding a Newborn

The benefits of breastfeeding are vast for both mothers and babies.  In many ways, this natural act of nourishment and love is quite miraculous.  Breastfeeding is intertwined with many other health aspects of caring for a newborn and a new mother’s recovery after childbirth.  Today we’re exploring 4 immediate benefits of breastfeeding a newborn.

1 – The Baby Receives Antibodies to Support Immune Health

Late in the third trimester of pregnancy mothers unknowingly transfer vital antibodies to their babies to help them survive on the outside world with very weak immune systems.  However, breast milk is essential to continuing to immediate benefits of breastfeeding__1456607261_162.206.228.38boost the immune system in the early days after birth when babies have very little ability to fight off any germs or pathogens they may encounter.  While families do their best to protect their newborns from any outside contagions, breast milk is an amazing preventative health measure for newborn immunity.

2 – The Mother’s Uterus Contracts to Help Her Body Return to Normal

Breastfeeding releases oxytocin, a hormone that not only encourages the production of milk, but also causes a new mother’s uterus to contract.  You may be thinking that you’ve already had enough uterine contractions after giving birth, but these are different.  The contractions caused by breastfeeding usually don’t hurt or at worst feel like short term menstrual cramps.  During pregnancy the uterus accumulates quite a volume of extra blood to support a growing baby.  After giving birth, the blood is dispelled through the vagina over time.  Breastfeeding encourages uterine contractions that lead to quicker vaginal bleeding over less time.  As the blood leaves the uterus, the organ slowly returns to a normal size although never as small as it was prior to carrying a child.  This often results in quicker weight loss and a faster return to a mother’s pre-pregnancy body as well.  Also, all of the organs that were displaced as the uterus grew will now find their proper places again.

3 – The Baby is Supported by the Very Best Nutrients to Thrive

Breast milk contains hundreds of nutrients that babies need to grow and thrive.  Unlike any other substance in the world, breast milk contains the complete nutritional needs an infant requires.  This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life and continuing to breastfeed for a year or more.  Having the same meal multiple times a day for at least six months may be somewhat redundant but moms are repeatedly offering the best of all the nutrients on the planet.  Actually, breast milk is further enhanced by a mother’s diet.  Consuming heart and brain healthy foods like fiber, good fats, omega-3s, protein and lots of vitamin and mineral rich fruits and vegetables can boost breast milk greatly.  And, breast milk automatically changes with the needs of the baby so what is produced for a newborn is nutritionally different than for older babies.

4 – Mothers and Babies Bond Quicker and Develop a Stronger Breastfeeding Relationship

When mothers and babies experience the closeness of breastfeeding, incredible things happen.  The baby is warmer and calmer; Her heart rate slows to sync with her mothers; Her body temperature stabilizes.  A more peaceful demeanor sets the tone for bonding and breastfeeding.  Mothers also feed off of the baby’s bliss.  When babies are more satisfied, mothers have less incidence of post partum depression.  Immediate breastfeeding in the early days sets the stage for the entire breastfeeding journey.  Babies learn to latch and find comfort in their mothers touch, sound and scent.  Mothers then have fewer struggles during breastfeeding and feel great about their choice to provide the very best for their babies as they begin life.