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Deciding to breastfeed your baby benefits both you and your baby. There are many health benefits to your child from breastfeeding, including prevention of infections such as ear infections, diarrhea, and other bacterial and viral infections. Research also suggests that breastfeeding may help protect against diabetes and some cancers. Breastfeeding provides warmth and closeness between you and your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding your child for the first year of life.
Breastfeeding also provides many benefits for mothers. Mothers who breastfeed tend to lose pregnancy weight more quickly. Hormones released during breastfeeding help to return the uterus to its normal size and can prevent postpartum bleeding. Research shows that women who have breastfed have lower chances of getting ovarian cancer and breast cancer later in life. Many mothers also feel joy and fulfillment from the connection they experience with their child while nursing.
Moreno MA, Furtner F, Rivara FP. Breastfeeding as Obesity Prevention. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165(8):772. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.140
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