Brain Development and Breastfeeding …. Lots of benefits!

Monday, August 24, 2009

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. This month is dedicated to promoting the many benefits to both a mother and a baby through breastfeeding.

Did you know…. the absence of touch, and the absence of eye contact with an infant, leads to limited brain growth? Breastfeeding provides both of these important influences on brain development. The close nurturing time provided while breastfeeding helps in meeting the basic needs for nourishment and love. These caring times spent together create a secure attachment for an infant, which is critical to healthy emotional development. The first 18 months of life are the most important months for a baby to make those critical emotional connections in the brain. This important aspect of development happens through consistently tuning into and meeting the baby’s needs.

Breast milk can make a difference for your baby.
· Breast milk is the perfect nutrition for your baby.
· Your body keeps it at the perfect temperature. No guessing is needed.
· Breast milk can help protect your baby from infections like pneumonia, ear infections, bronchitis, and urinary tract infections. Chronic childhood diseases are likely decreased with breastfeeding.
· Breastfed babies can have less risk of asthma, obesity, and diabetes,
· Some studies are showing that breastfeeding is correlated to higher academic achievement. (American University (AU) and University of Colorado (Denver) studies)
Breast milk benefits the Mother
· Mothers who breastfeed have a lowered risk of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
· Breastfeeding can enhance the bonding process.
· Breastfeeding makes night time feedings easier with no formula measuring and bottles to warm up.
· Breastfeeding also provides calorie burn and assists with losing weight after pregnancy.
· AND…. It doesn’t cost anything!
For more ideas on making critical emotional connections and helping your baby’s brain develop order, the Love Your Baby brain development packet at This is the first in The Brain Development Series.
For more on breastfeeding go to:
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