Benefits of Breast Feeding


Q: I was recently discharged from the hospital and the nurses were encouraging breast feeding. What are the benefits to breast feeding?


A:   It has been a well known fact that breastfeeding has many benefits to the infant.
Breast milk has all the nutrients your baby needs to thrive for the first six months of life, and alongside other foods after this time, it's an important and healthy part of the diet.  Research has shown that breast milk contains many protective factors such as antibodies and white blood cells.  These factors are constantly changing to provide the best immunity to the baby.  Antibodies are disease fighting cells that help protect infants from germs, illness, and even SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
There are over 200 components that have been identified in breast milk, and each plays a role not only in the baby's nutrition, but also in general development and growth as well as the development of the immune and nervous systems.
I advise all my patients that “breast is best” but if they are unable to breast feed or the baby requires additional supplementation, the current baby formulas on the market are a good secondary alternative as well.

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