Breastfeeding can boost your child’s intelligence.

Here’s a new breastfeeding article I have to share with all my mommy readers! ♥

Breastfeeding can boost your child’s intelligence.

Posted  Monday, February 25  2013 

A connection has been found between breastfeeding and the development of a child’s brain. Researchers concluded in a study of more than 17,000 infants from newborn to six and half years that prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding improved brain development.

A similar study of nearly 4,000 children showed that babies who were breastfed had significantly higher scores on vocabulary testing at five years of age in comparison with children who were not breastfed. Higher levels were directly correlated with a longer duration of breastfeeding.

Preterm infants with low birth weight received breast milk that improved their brain development scores at 18 months when compared with preterm infants who weren’t given breast milk. Follow up research indicated that the scored held true even at 30 months.

Other findings confirmed that babies are less likely to be hospitalised, suffer adverse side effects to vaccines and significantly reduced the risk of dying as well.

Children who are breastfed have a 20 per cent lower risk of dying between 28 days and one year than children who weren’t breastfed, with longer breastfeeding associated with lower risk, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The major substance that is known to strengthen a child’s immune system is called colostrum. Colostrum is specifically tailored to facilitate the health of a child. It helps guard against invading viruses and bacteria by providing a protective layer in a baby’s intestines, nose and throat.

Breastfeeding also helps children avoid a variety of diseases later in life, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and several digestive diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Studies have also shown that breastfeeding can reduce a child’s risk of developing certain childhood cancers.

Breastfeeding can protect against allergies

Major health conditions of childhood such as colic, allergies and asthma have all been linked to whether a child has been breastfed or not. Formula that is based on cow’s milk or soy tends to have significantly more adverse reactions than breast milk.

Scientists further confirm that the colostrum provides the added barrier of protection. Inflammation in the gut can cause foreign proteins to create health problems. Children’s digestive tracts are not designed to absorb soy or cow’s milk but will commonly tolerate it.

Formula fed babies don’t get the layer of protection and they are more vulnerable to inflammation, allergies and other future health issues. Essentially, what a child is fed early in life will help determine longevity, quality of life and disease processes later in life.

Breastfeeding can protect against obesity

Breastfeeding is a way to help reduce a child’s risk of becoming overweight or obese, according to the American Academy of Paediatrics. Seventeen studies in the American Journal of Epidemiology correlates breastfed children to be less overweight than non-breastfed children. Once again there was a direct relationship between overall length of breastfeeding and normal weight.

Many experts agree that breastfeeding will lead to healthier eating patterns throughout childhood and beyond. Breastfeeding facilitates one’s body to absorb, utilise and excrete in an improved manner. This will reduce chemical, physical and mental stress on the body that can lead to future health concerns.

Stress is known to alter hormone production such as insulin, leptin and cortisol. These hormones are instrumental in regulating appetite, fat utilisation and energy control. Formula-fed babies gain weight more rapidly in the first weeks of life and will set an artificial norm for the body’s metabolism to operate.

Breastfeeding and postpartum depression

The National Institutes of Health reviewed over 9,000 study abstracts and concluded that women who didn’t breastfeed or who stopped breastfeeding too soon had a higher risk of postpartum depression.

Breastfeeding can reduce stress levels as most women report feeling more relaxed during and after breastfeeding. This relaxation is due to a hormone called oxytocin. Studies confirm that oxytocin has a healing, relaxation effect for the mother and child.

Complications can also be reduced by breastfeeding. Oxytocin is known to reduce uterine bleeding and lower blood pressure. Both of these will reduce hemorrhage, severe blood loss and loss of life.

There is a bit of controversy when it comes to breastfeeding and the use of antidepressants. Generally, antibiotics are not healthy for a child but the mother must be able to function to provide proper care and nutrients. A depressed mother may lose interest, have excessive fatigue or engage in questionable health practices that would prevent the child from getting essential nutrients.

Breastfeeding can protect against cancer

Several studies have concluded that the longer a woman breastfed, the greater the protection against breast and ovarian cancer. Notably, breastfeeding for at least one year has shown the greatest protective effect against breast cancer.

Hormones such as oestrogen are impacted by physical, mental and emotional stress over time. Pregnancy before age 30 and breastfeeding will reduce a woman’s total number of lifetime menstrual cycles and they will have better oestrogen and progesterone balance. Estrogen dominance is known to fuel up to 80 per cent of all breast cancers.

Exercise and breastfeeding

There are many benefits of breastfeeding and exercising. There is less impact of postpartum depression as well as improved postnatal recovery times. Exercises also promotes weight loss and muscle gain.



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