Talk about a head start: Research suggests that breastfeeding can help your baby stay healthier now as well as later in life. Breast milk contains secretory immunoglobulin A, an antibody that can protect your baby from common illness-causing germs, and possibly even offer protection from SIDS. Breastfeeding benefits can even extend into adulthood, slashing your baby’s chances for developing type 1 diabetes, high blood pressure, and even certain types of cancer.
Breastfeeding benefits mean good things for your child’s weight, too. Studies show breastfeeding your baby can lower his risk for becoming overweight by helping him learn to regulate his appetite. In fact, for each month of breastfeeding up to 9 months, your baby is 4 percent less likely to become overweight.