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10 potential benefits of breast-feeding

Studies and research alike have found benefits from breast-feeding. Some have disputed them, but here are 10 of those benefits for both kids and mothers.
Herb Scribner, Deseret News Modified: August 21, 2014 at 6:56 pm •  Published: August 21, 2014

About three quarters of American mothers breast-feed. However, the practice is widely debated.

Some studies have said the benefits of breast-feeding are “overstated,” especially because some kids don't ever see any of the long-term benefits. Critics have noted that breast-feeding is not necessarily as good as some may think. Others have knocked breast-feeding for its public ties.

Deseret News National wrote about one woman who was asked to leave a store in New York for breast-feeding in public, and actress Olivia Wilde’s recent Glamour cover photo of her breast-feeding a child is another example, according to The Los Angeles Times.

But, despite these debates and concerns expressed by the media, breast-feeding has been linked to benefits, too. NPR reported a year ago that women are breast-feeding, but there are still plenty of children who are missing out on the benefits despite experts saying it can be helpful for young ones.

Here are 10 of those benefits:

It cuts depression risk for moms

Breast-feeding was linked to cutting the risk of depression for mothers by a study published in the journal Maternal and Child Health. The study, which looked at 14,000 new mothers, found that women who breast-feed are less likely to develop the mental-health issue. One in 10 women specifically develop depression, the study found, but that number dropped if a woman was able to breast-feed.

It betters your baby’s immune system

Worried that your baby might be sick all the time? Breast-feeding has been linked to improving a baby’s immune system, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Mothers pass their antibodies through milk to the children, allowing the baby to build a strong defense system against colds and infections, the APP reported.

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