Breastfeeding benefits | breastfedbabies
You may have heard that breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby, but you might still want to know why. Breastmilk is different to formula milk as it contains substances like antibodies, hormones and stem cells, that simply can’t be manufactured in formula. Antibodies help to protect your baby from infection and stimulate the baby’s immune system.
Studies have compared the health of children who were breastfed as babies and children who were fed formula milk. The results showed that breastfeeding substantially reduces the risk of illness. This protection can last for many years and the longer you breastfeed, the greater the health benefits. However, breastfeeding for a short time – even a few days or weeks – is better than not at all.
The World Health Organization and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety recommend breastfeeding with no other food or drink until around six months of age. You can then continue breastfeeding with other food and drinks into the second year of life and beyond.