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11 Benefits Of Breastfeeding Every Parent Needs To Know

11 Benefits Of Breastfeeding Every Parent Needs To Know

Deciding whether to breastfeed your child or not is a personal matter, one only you and your spouse can make. However, there are many scientifically proven benefits that suggest breastfeeding is the way to go—even if you can only manage to do it for a few months. Before you decide either way, make sure you know all the facts. Here are 11 benefits of breastfeeding that every parent needs to know.

1. Breastfeeding protects your baby from illnesses.

Breast milk not only contains all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs to live, it also has qualities to protect your child from illnesses. Studies have shown that stomach viruses, ear infections, lower respiratory illnesses, and meningitis occur less often in babies who are fed breast milk, and instances of these illnesses are less severe when they do happen. The benefits last long beyond infancy to protect against type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and inflammatory bowel disease.

2. Breastfeeding can keep your baby from developing allergies.

Your body produces a substance called secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) that forms a protective layer over the mucous membranes in your baby’s intestines, nose, and throat. This is what protects against illnesses, but it also helps prevent allergic reactions to food. Because your baby has this protective layer over his or her intestines as a result of ingesting breast milk, there is a lower risk of the inflammation that leads to allergic reactions and other health problems.

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3. Breastfeeding may boost your baby’s intelligence.

Scientific studies have shown that babies who were breastfed until later in infancy had higher scores on IQ and vocabulary tests. These scores increased relative to how long the baby had been breastfed! The fatty acids in breast milk more than likely play the biggest role in contributing to brainpower benefits.

4. Breastfeeding may protect your child from obesity.

It might seem too early to worry about obesity, but breastfeeding your baby now can prevent childhood and teenage obesity! Studies show breastfeeding helps prevent obesity because breastfed babies are better at eating until they’re satisfied, which sets the stage for healthier eating patterns when they’re older. Breast milk contains less insulin, which stimulates the creation of fat, than formula. Breastfed babies also have more leptin in their system, which is a hormone that regulates appetite and fat.

5. Breastfeeding may lower your baby’s risk of SIDS.

The link isn’t clear, but a study done in Germany in 2009 showed that breastfed babies were less likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Feeding a baby exclusively breast milk at one month of age cuts the risk of SIDS in half. Since it’s a mysterious occurrence anyway, it’s good to know that there’s a natural way to prevent this happening.

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6. Breastfeeding can reduce your stress level and your risk of postpartum depression.

Nursing triggers the release of oxytocin, a hormone that relaxes you and promotes the nurturing feeling you need to feel towards your baby. Higher levels of oxytocin lead to lower blood pressure, which reduces your stress and likelihood of depression.

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    7. Breastfeeding may reduce your risk of certain types of cancer.

    The longer you breastfeed, the more you’re protected against breast and ovarian cancer. It seems that nursing for at least a year has the most protective effect, especially in the case of breast cancer. Lactation suppresses the amount of estrogen your body produces, which is of benefit in preventing breast and ovarian cancer.

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    8. Breastfeeding may reduce your risk of osteoporosis.

    Mothers might experience a bone-mineral loss while they’re breastfeeding their baby, but the mineral density is replenished after lactation. It even increases, which helps reduce your risk of osteoporosis later on.

    9. Breastfeeding helps you lose your baby weight faster.

    Breastfeeding burns extra calories, so all that weight you gained during pregnancy can come off faster! Actually, some of the weight you gain during pregnancy is used as an energy source for lactation.

    10. Breastfeeding saves money.

    It’s estimated to cost about $1,200 a year to formula feed your baby, but mothers who breastfeed save about $400 a year! Even if you use a breast pump and bottles instead of feeding your baby personally each time, you’re buying fewer supplies than mothers who exclusively use formula. Giving your baby breast milk doesn’t require you to run to the store, so there’s an added bonus of ease of feeding.

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    11. Breastfeeding gives you time to bond with your baby.

    It was stated above that breastfeeding releases oxytocin, which relaxes you and makes you feel nurturing towards your baby. Factor this in with the time you’ll take out of your day just to sit with your baby and enjoy this short but sweet time of their life.

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    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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