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Erin van Vuuren

Q&A: What Are The Benefits Of Breastfeeding?

I'm deciding whether or not to breastfeed. What are the benefits if I decide to breastfeed?

There's no doubt breast milk is the ideal food for baby. It contains the ideal mix of enzymes and antibodies, making breastfed babies less likely to have diarrhea, ear infections, respiratory illness, allergies, stomach bugs, and colds. Plus, nursing decreases future risk of obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, childhood leukemia, and other forms of cancer. Breastfed babies may also lower baby's risk of dying from SIDS, and it's even been linked to higher IQs.

There are perks for you too. For one, it won't cost you a penny. Plus, it requires no preparation, is always on hand wherever you go, and it comes out at the perfect temperature. Even better, it can help you drop your pregnancy pounds faster; help you heal more quickly down below; lower your stress levels; and it has been linked to decreased breast cancer, uterine cancer, and osteoporosis rates. And, of course, breastfeeding creates a natural, beautiful time for mama/baby bonding.