6 Reasons Breast Milk Is Considered A “Superfood” For Babies

The human body is simply amazing— it is the most sophisticated organism on earth. Our bodies have bones that can heal themselves, skin that can repair itself, and a brain that can make logical decisions. With all of these incredible capabilities, it is no wonder a woman’s body produces the perfect superfood for their babies. Breast milk is thought to have many advantages to newborns’ growth and well-being that can continue well into adulthood.

The Benefits Of Breast Milk For You & Your Baby

The benefits of breast milk are numerous. However, breastfeeding doesn’t only have perks for your baby. In fact, breastfeeding can help reduce the mother’s risk for type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and ovarian cancer. Here at Kernodle OB/GYN, we understand how breast milk can act “medicinal.” Continue reading to learn six reasons breast milk is considered a “superfood” for babies!

1. Provides The Perfect Nutrition

A mother’s breast milk consists of 87% water, 1% protein, 4% lipid, and 7% carbohydrate. It also contains several minerals, such as potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium. Combining all of these nutrients makes breast milk the healthiest source of nutrition for your baby. The first few days after giving birth, the breasts produce colostrum, also known as ‘liquid gold’. This milk is thick, sticky, and yellow or orange in color. This milk plays an essential role in building your baby’s immune system and nourishes them unlike anything else.

2. Contains Antibodies

Breast milk has natural properties that fight infection in your newborn. The probiotic factors found in a mother’s milk support the immune system and act as a nutrient source for the human microbiome. These healthy microbiomes guard against infection and decrease the risk of allergies, asthma, and other chronic diseases. 

3. Can Reduce The Likelihood Of Certain Diseases

With these antibodies fighting for a powerful and balanced immune system, breast milk can reduce the likelihood of certain conditions, symptoms, and diseases. Some of these, including

  • Ear infections
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pneumonia
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Certain types of meningitis

Breast milk has also been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), obesity, diabetes, and some childhood cancers.

4. Promotes Healthy Weight

According to the World Health Organization, it is healthy for breastfed babies to gain anywhere from 5.5-8.5 ounces per week in their first 0-4 weeks of life, 3.25-4.5 ounces per week between 4-6 months, and 1.75-2.75 ounces per week between 6-12 months. By one year, breastfed babies typically weigh anywhere between 2.5-3 times their birth weight.

5. Laxative Properties

Breast milk is the perfect concoction for your baby, with the added benefit of being very easy to digest. In fact, breast milk is considered a natural laxative. Because of this, babies who solely drink their mother’s milk rarely experience constipation or similar symptoms. 

6. Builds An Emotional Bond

One of the mental benefits of breastfeeding is the emotional bond it builds between mother and baby. The emotional closeness between baby and mother during breastfeeding has been proven to decrease stress levels, promote better sleep, increase calmness, and offer physical and emotional bonding. In addition, babies who are breastfed often have better memory, stronger critical thinking skills, early language ability, and enhanced motor skills. 

Once you become a mother, there are few things more important than keeping your child healthy and happy. Breastfeeding is considered a natural gift, but not everyone can breastfeed for as long as they’d like, and some women struggle to breastfeed at all. If you have questions about breastfeeding or want to learn more about the benefits of breast milk, call us at (336) 538-2367 to make an appointment.

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