Brain. A unique combination of cholesterol and other types of fat support the growth of nerve tissue and enhance cognitive development in the rapidly growing brain.
Eyes. Visual acuity is higher in babies fed human milk.
Ears. Breastfed babies get fewer ear infections, thanks to the antibodies in breastmilk.
Mouth. Less need for orthodontics in children who breastfed more than a year. Improved muscle development of face from suckling at the breast. Subtle changes in the taste of human milk, based on the foods mom eats, prepare babies to accept a variety of solid foods.
Throat. Children who are breastfed are less likely to require tonsillectomies.
Respiratory system. Evidence shows that breastfed babies have fewer and less severe upper respiratory infections, less wheezing, less pneumonia and less influenza.
Heart and circulatory system. Evidence suggests that breastfed children may have lower cholesterol as adults.
Digestive system. Less diarrhea, fewer gastrointestinal infections. Six months or more of exclusive breastfeeding reduces risk of food allergies. Also, less risk of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in adulthood.
Immune system. Human milk helps to mature baby's own immune system. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of childhood cancer and autoimmune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis.
Endocrine system. Reduced risk of getting diabetes.
Kidneys. With less salt and less protein, human milk is easier on a baby's kidneys.
Appendix. Children with acute appendicitis are less likely to have been breastfed.
Urinary tract. Fewer infections in breastfed infants.
Joints and muscles. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is less common in children who were breastfed.
Skin. Less allergic eczema in breastfed infants.
Growth. Breastfed babies are leaner at one year of age and less likely to be obese later in life.
Bowels. Breastfed babies are not likley to experience constipation.
"Breastfeeding is a gift that lasts a lifetime."
- Author Unknown
Copyright 2013 Sharen Medrano, IBCLC. All rights reserved.