More than 120 countries are marking the World Breastfeeding Week(WBW) this week. The world breastfeeding week is marked from 1st to 7th August annually.

This year’s theme is working together to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. This is especially important in such a time when mothers are preferring bottle feeding to breastfeeding. Public breastfeeding has also been surrounded by a lot of controversies.

It is thus vital to know the benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is considered the perfect food due to the wealth of medical benefits a breastfed baby gets. These include:

Boost your immune system

Your child is likely to have a stronger immune system, be resilient to viruses, germs and bacteria if you breastfeed him/her. “The incidences of pneumonia, colds and viruses are reduced among breastfed babies,” says infant-nutrition expert Ruth A. Lawrence, the author of Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession Breastfeeding thus ensures that you have a healthier baby.

Has long-term health effects

Breastfeeding also has long-term effects by ensuring your child does not develop chronic diseases such as type1 diabetes and celiac disease. Children who were breastfed also have decreased risk of malnutrition, obesity and heart disease compared to formula fed babies.

Lowers risk of SIDS

A German study published in 2009 shows that exclusive and partial breastfeeding helps with the reduction of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS) by about half.

Growth and development of baby

Breastfeeding is essential in a baby’s development. It promotes proper development of baby’s jaw and teeth. It also ensures good brain development early in life leading to higher IQs.

Breastfeeding also has other non-medical benefits such as:

  • Babies are held more thus they benefit emotionally
  • A mother gets to bond more with the baby during breastfeeding.