Baby, Pregnancy, and Parenting Information

Breastfeeding and Obesity

Do you think that breastfeeding helps raise the occurrence of obesity or lower it? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics breastfeeding actually lowers the risk that your baby will grow into an obese child or obese adult. One of the reasons pediatricians are now recommending that mothers breastfeed for at least the first year is because of the added health benefits in reducing childhood obesity.

breastfeeding-and-obesity.jpgWhy does breastfeeding have that added benefit? One reason is that it is believed that when a baby is attached to the breast and nursing, they quit when they are full. However, when a parent is feeding a bottle to their baby they often try to feed their baby until the bottle is empty, many times overfeeding the baby. This can teach their baby that they need to keep eating, even when they feel satisfied.

It is speculated that breast milk may contain ingredients that help control a baby’s metabolic rate, therefore helping to control their future weight gain. Because no one knows exactly what breast milk is made up of, it can not be duplicated to an exact copy by formula manufacturers like Enfamil. Because breast milk is genetically different and altered for each baby, there is no way for formula to be as good for your baby as breast milk.

Breast milk also helps prevent diabetes, ear infections, and diarrhea in babies. Besides being healthy for your baby, it is cheapest and easiest way to feed your baby. With health and convenience all taken care of, and the risk of obesity being lowered by breastfeeding, why would someone who could breastfeed make the choice to NOT breastfeed their baby?


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