Breast milk naturally produces the nutritional diet that infants need to grow and develop. For many reasons, breastfeeding is not always possible for all mother’s, especially with so many women returning to work soon after their baby is born. Fortunately, even when breast milk is pumped and refrigerated, or frozen, it still provides the benefits babies need. The choice does not have to be exclusive, between pumping and breastfeeding, it can be any combination of the two, that works best for the mother and baby. But when deciding between breast milk or formula, breast milk will have the highest impact on your baby's cognitive function and development as it is customized for the baby based on feedback from the baby’s body. Providing a baby feed at the breast allows its saliva to interact with the milk. This interaction sends messages to the mother’s brain about what the baby needs. Breast milk changes with age, time of day and duration of feeding.
Medical professionals, researchers, and children development experts are united in the conclusion that both breastfeeding and giving a baby pumped breast milk offer extensive health benefits. And both require the mother's commitment. According to the CDC, Infants who are breastfed have reduced risks of asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes, ear and respiratory infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breastfeeding can also help lower a mother’s risk of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and ovarian and breast cancers. The positive effects are even present as children grow up, proving to have fewer cavities and less likelihood of becoming obese.
Mothers who breastfeed their baby gain health benefits as well. Reduced postpartum bleeding and fewer urinary tract infections, lead to a lower chance of anaemia and a lower risk of postpartum depression. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, endometriosis, osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.