It is common knowledge that the benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition. Other than the immediate benefit of containing the most vital vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of life, breast milk is also a source of with disease-fighting substances that protect the baby from illnesses.
Studies indicate that diarrhea, and ear infections happen less often in breastfed babies and lower respiratory illnesses, are less severe when they do occur in babies who have been breast fed. Exclusive breastfeeding means that there are no solid foods taken for at least six months seems to offer the most protection.
Studies also go ahead to find that the immune factors which are present in colostrum which is the first milk your body produces, guards against invading germs by forming a protective layer on your baby’s mucous membranes in his intestines, nose, and throat.
Breastfeeding may also protect your baby from developing inflammatory bowel disease later in life. Several studies have documented a link between a lack of breastfeeding in infancy and later development of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.