Understanding the benefits of breastfeeding

Some benefits include strengthening the baby’s immune system and lowering stress levels

As a new or expecting mother, breastfeeding may be on the top of your mind. According to University Health, breastfeeding can help mothers and babies. It can also be important in premature babies.

Other benefits to breastfeeding include the following:

  • Easier to digest than formula.
  • Prevents infections and strengthens the immune system.
  • Promotes brain development.
  • Lowers the risk of asthma and allergies.
  • Reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Breastfeeding is good for moms, too. It burns on average 600 calories a day while lowering the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and diabetes. Breastfeeding also saves money in formula and health care costs.

Breastfeeding can help mothers and babies strengthen interpersonal bonds and can lower stress levels too, University Health officials said.

Even a very small amount of breast milk is beneficial to a baby.

University Health will soon open a “A Mother’s Place”— a center dedicated to support breastfeeding, and improve maternal nutrition, psychosocial support and milk science. It will be located in University Health’s Women’s & Children’s Hospital.

Moms can drop off their breastmilk for their baby directly into the center if their baby is hospitalized, so no time is wasted to customize for each baby’s needs. Mothers can also receive lactation support and support from psychosocial counseling services if they are experiencing emotional distress.

If needed, the center can customize the breastmilk to enhance its nutritional components based on the needs of that particular infant.

For more information on breastfeeding and University Health, visit their website.