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Breastfeeding Can Help Reduce the Risk of Obesity

With obesity on the rise in America, including higher numbers of childhood obesity, one way to lower the risk of it in babies is found at home.

breastfeeding-can-help-reduce-the-risk-of-obesity.jpgBreastfeeding, has long been considered the healthiest option for babies, and has been recently found to reduce the odds of children growing up obese.

While chubby babies are cute a fat baby is not necessarily a healthy baby, there are limits.

One possible explanation of the link between bottle-fed babies and obesity is that parents may tend to keep feeding a baby until a bottle is empty. Babies on the bottle may be developing larger appetites. Bottles are an easy solution when attempting to quiet restless babies, when hunger might not be the problem.

Breastfed babies also have greater control over the amount of milk they consume, choosing whether or not to nurse, which may lead to better appetite control in the future. Another guess is that breast milk could contain ingredients that program the baby’s metabolic rate.

Normal amounts of weight gain in a newborn baby, after the mother’s supply of milk has increased, is anywhere from one-half to one ounce per day until the baby reaches three months of life, after which weight increases should gradually taper off.

Parents should follow clues such as restlessness and sucking on fingers to let them know when a baby is hungry, rather than feeding them too much from a bottle. A good guideline for breastfeeding newborns is once every two to three hours, for a total of 8 to 12 feedings in 24 hours.

Breastfeeding should be used exclusively for the first six months of life and should continue for at least one year, slowly introducing juice and solid food. Up to your baby’s first birthday breast milk should make up 80% of your baby’s diet.

Breast milk protects against a number of other illnesses in babies besides obesity, including type-1 diabetes, ear infections, lymphoma and diarrhea. In order to inform and teach people about the benefits of breastfeeding, the American Academy of Pediatrics designates each August as National Breastfeeding Month.

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2 Comments on "Breastfeeding Can Help Reduce the Risk of Obesity"

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4 years 8 months ago
I am the proud mother of a 10 week old boy. I tried desperately to breastfeed but have inverted nipples which made it impossible for my baby to latch on and feed no matter what I tried and trust me, I tried! After the first week of my poor baby not getting much, if anything to eat as well as having the jitters due to lack of food I made the decision to formula feed which was really disappointing. I initially combined expressed breast milk with formula but my breast milk inevitably dried up. It may well be that ‘breast… Read more »
6 years 5 months ago

i would like to know, i’m a diabetic and feed my baby of 9 months, my doctor told me i need to stop feeding my baby so that i could take medcine to control my diabete!(now i’m on insulin).

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