The Link between Breast Feeding and Lifelong Health

Every parent wants the best for their child. They want them to grow up healthy and give them the best advantage possible for a long and happy life. There are tons of tips that parents get, from old wives tales to scientifically proven facts, about the best way to raise their child, and breastfeeding is often a topic that comes up a lot.

The Many Benefits of Breastfeeding

Over the years, science has come up with a long list of benefits from breastfeeding, for both the child and the mother. Breastfeeding helps the mother lose the baby weight, creates a stronger psychological bond between mother and child, and gives the baby everything it needs for healthy development and a strong immune system.

Among the many benefits of breastfeeding is the link between breast milk and a healthy digestive system. Here’s how it works: We all have microbes in our gut that aid in digestion, and the earlier that those microbes build up in an infant’s system, the better. Those microbes don’t just help with the development of a healthy digestive tract, but determine the strength of the body’s immune system and can affect many other aspects of the body’s overall health. Studies have shown that breastfed babies develop a lager range of those microbes in a shorter time compared to formula-fed babies, and are on their way to better health over their entire lifetime.

Why a Healthy Gut is So Important

We’ve all had the discomfort of digestive problems, that upset stomach feeling that makes you just want to curl up in bed all day. With small children and infants, those problems are even more likely to show up since they’re still developing, getting used to feeding, and trying new foods. Without a healthy digestive system, a baby can experience any number or discomforts, including constipation or diarrhea, acid reflux, infant gas, and the discomfort of a simple upset stomach.

Even with breastfeeding, it’s likely that a baby will experience digestive problems from time to time, but luckily there are a range of at-home treatments that can help take care of their symptoms. Changing positions while feeding can help alleviate gas, as can burping, and when a child starts to make the switch to solid foods there are some items– cereals and whole milk in particular– that often cause digestive troubles. Taking a break from foods that cause problems or limiting the amount of which the child has should solve those issues.

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