Parenting isn’t an easy task.
You have to keep patience, understand and then take a step. You may be exhausted in this run, but nonetheless, your responsibilities aren’t losing up. One such exhausting task is breastfeeding. Most of the women get tired of feeding and start bottle feeding their child at early stages.
And that might seem okay to you because by bottle feeding you will get extra hands of your partner and family, while breastfeeding is just your job. So, if you (mother) are puzzled whether to breastfeed your child or not, this might be a good read for you. And, before you go on to a decision, let’s review some benefits of breastfeeding for you and your child.
Breast milk is full of nutrients that are enough for babies and can be easily digested by them. The world health organization (WHO) has recommended feedings for initial 2 years and longer because its benefits are long-lasting. Starting as early as possible, i.e. right from birth and continuing till a minimum of two years has the biggest benefits. So now, scroll down to see the actual benefits:
Breast milk provides adequate nutrients for babies:
Many healthcare professionals suggest only breastfeeding for at least 6 months and longer because it contains everything that a baby needs for the first 6 months of life and in the right proportions.
As a baby’s needs change, its composition also changes naturally, especially during the first month of life. In the initial days, your breast produces colostrum which is a yellow fluid. It is rich in proteins, has low sugar levels, and has tons of beneficial components.
It thus becomes an irreplaceable formula. The first milk helps in the development of the baby’s immature digestive tract. After a couple of days, breasts start producing more amounts milk as required by the baby.
Breast milk contains essential antibodies:
Yes, you read it right. It serves antibodies loaded enough that will help your baby fight against viruses, bacteria, which are harmful in those tender ages. This is mostly supplied from the first milk – colostrum, which provides high amounts of immunoglobulin A and other antibodies.
When you are exposed to a virus or bacteria, you start to produce antibodies, which are transferred to milk. And thus, immunity is also transferred. Immunoglobulin A protects the baby from getting sick easily and forms a protective layer in its nose, digestive system, and throat.
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of disease:
Only breastfeeding for the initial months is particularly beneficial. It may reduce the following diseases in infants:
- Middle ear infection
- Respiratory tract infection
- Cold and infections
- Intestinal tissue damage
- Sudden infant death syndrome
- Allergic diseases like asthma, atopic dermatitis, and eczema
- Bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
- Childhood leukemia
Breast milk enhances baby’s healthy weight:
Breastfeeding promotes child healthy weight gain and reduces the possibility of childhood obesity. Study shows that if the child is breastfed for more than 4 months, there is a significant reduction in chances of getting obese. This is due to the formation of different gut bacteria which affect fat storage. Moreover, breast milk contains leptin which is a key hormone in regulating appetite and fat storage.
Breastfeeding makes children smarter:
The baby’s brain development is different when it’s breastfed and when it’s formula-fed. This difference is due to physical intimacy, touch and eye contact, and also nutrient content. The studies have shown that breastfed kids have higher intellectual scores and are less likely to develop behavioral problems and have lesser learning difficulties at older ages.
Breastfeeding may help mothers lose weight:
Breastfeeding burns calories and after 3 months, mothers continuing to breastfeed are likely to experience an increase in the fat-burning process.
Breastfeeding helps to contract the uterus:
During pregnancy, the mother’s uterus grows immensely by filling up the entire space of the abdomen. After delivery, the uterus goes through a process of involution, which is reduced to its original size, which is brought in by the production of oxytocin hormone. The hormone oxytocin increases while breastfeeding and encourages uterine contraction and reduces bleeding.
Mothers on breastfeeding have lower chances of postpartum depression:
This type of depression is developed from baby blues, which is seen after giving birth. According to studies, women who breastfeed have fewer chances of getting into postpartum depression. Also, if you’re having breastfeeding issues, that may be a sign that you are having postpartum depression. So in that case, consult a doctor.
Thus, from the above context, it is clear that breastfeeding has numerous advantages and most of health agencies recommend the same. Counting on the above advantages, what are you going to choose for your baby? Well, it’s completely up to you and how you want your child to grow.
But no matter whatever choice you make, your healthcare team will guide you in the right direction.
Request a referral from your doctor. Finding help for an emotional wellness issue can also help you with your care. Ascertain that you are in the care of Safe Hands.
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Disclaimer: This website’s content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Such information is provided solely for educational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a doctor or qualified health care professional.
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