Facts about breastfeeding | breastfedbabies

Couple lying on bed with mother breastfeeing babyHuman milk contains antibodies and hormones that are there to help with the development of your baby’s brain and immune system. These antibodies and special immune factors help to protect a breastfed baby from infections.

Because formula milk is made from cow’s milk, the important immune factors unique to breastmilk are absent from it. Sometimes a baby’s immune system reacts in a negative way to being given infant formula milk, and in families where there is a history of asthma, eczema and diabetes this can increase the risk of developing these conditions.

Research evidence indicates that bottle-fed babies are at increased risk of:

  • ear, chest and kidney infections;
  • gastroenteritis (severe inflammation or infection of the stomach or gut);
  • eczema and asthma;
  • childhood obesity;
  • childhood leukaemia; 
  • childhood diabetes;
  • sudden infant death. 

There are also important health benefits to your partner from choosing to breastfeed. These benefits include less risk of:

  • breast cancer;
  • ovarian cancer;
  • osteoporosis (thinning bones);
  • type 2 diabetes.

There are many other health benefits of breastfeeding. You can find more research information about them at http://www.unicef.org.uk/BabyFriendly/About-Baby-Friendly/Breastfeeding-...