Editors note: Breastfeeding is amazing in so many ways. From the intense bond it can help you form with your baby in the first hours after birth, to the benefits it has on your baby’s health even into adulthood, there’s a reason breast milk is called “liquid gold.” Breast milk is a living substance that contains live cells, including stem cells, which go on to become other body cell types like brain, heart, kidney, or bone tissue.
Breast milk also contains antibodies and live white blood cells that help your baby fight against infection. And, when you or your baby are sick, the amount of these cells in your breast milk increases.
Colostrum (your first milk) contains special proteins that coat your baby’s intestinal tract to protect from harmful bacteria right from the start.
Your brain releases the hormones prolactin and oxytocin during breastfeeding, which help you to bond with baby and ease those normal feelings of stress and anxiety.
Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, and postpartum depression. And, the longer a woman breastfeeds in her lifetime, the more protection she receives.
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