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How breastfeeding protects your baby.

Breast milk is very rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby. Although your baby only gets a small amount of colostrum at each feeding, it matches the amount his or her tiny stomach can hold.

Your breast milk changes as your baby grows. Colostrum changes into what is called mature milk. By the third to fifth day after birth, this mature breast milk has the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby continue to grow. It is a thinner type of milk than colostrum, but it provides all of the nutrients and antibodies your baby needs.

Here are some of the ways that breastfeeding protects your baby:

  1. Breast milk fights disease. The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breast milk protect babies from illness.
  2. Breastfeeding has also been shown to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Breast milk is easier to digest. For most babies, especially premature babies breast milk is easier to digest.