Teresa Fuller MD, PhD
The latest report from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) shows that breastfeeding rates have increased over the past few years to almost 80% from 77%.
This is great news because of the many benefits of breastfeeding to both Mom and baby.
There are dozens of positive health effects from breastfeeding, but here I’ll list just 10 of the well known benefits for breastfed babies compared to formula-fed babies.
Breastfeeding babies have :
- Far fewer respiratory illnesses than formula-fed children
- 3 to 4 times fewer diarrheal illnesses
- Reduced likelihood of ear infections
- Decreased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Reduced occurrence of eczema and allergies
- Fewer dental cavities
- 20 to 30% reduced rate of obesity
- 34% decreased risk of insulin-dependent diabetes
- 8 times lower risk of childhood cancer (if breast fed for more than 6 months)
- Fewer learning and behavioral problems
Breastfeeding is Best for Mom Too
There are multiple benefits for Mom as well. Mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis. And breastfeeding Moms lose their extra pregnancy weight faster.
By the way, this is by no means an exhaustive list of the benefits of breastfeeding. I didn’t even talk about the bonding experience with your baby, convenience, the positive impact on the environment, the positive financial impact, and the social impact that includes a positive impact on child welfare.
Suffice it to say, breastfeeding is far and away the best feeding choice for your baby!
Teresa Fuller MD, PhD, is an integrative pediatrician at National Integrated Health Associates, NIHA, serving Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia. She is double board-certified in pediatrics and integrative holistic medicine with a doctorate in physiology. Dr. Fuller is in a unique position to positively impact the health of children by identifying the underlying contributors to disease such as nutrient deficiencies, toxicities, infection and stresses, in order to reverse symptoms and restore your child’s health. Her focus is prevention of chronic illness and obesity in children and young adults, ADHD, asthma and allergies.