To give the best start to your baby’s life is breastfeeding. It has lots of health benefits and wellbeing for mothers as well as babies. Breastfeeding also has so many economic benefits for society and the whole family. So, Let’s understand the importance of breastfeeding and its benefits for the mother as well as babies.
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Importance of Breastfeeding:
When we talk about the importance of breastfeeding we should know the recommendation for breastfeeding by the health organizations. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the babies until the babies turn to six months, after the age of six months you can introduce an appropriate complementary feeding along with the breastfeeding, in addition to continued breastfeeding to 12 months and beyond, it completely depends on mother’s and the babies desire.
All health workers have a responsibility to encourage, support and promote the importance of breastfeeding according to these recommendations of WHO. However, health workers should spread awareness about the importance of breastfeeding has benefits for both babies as well as mothers.
Breastfeeding is a completely normal physiological process. However, for some people, it is a skill that babies and mothers need to practice and can need help with. Breastfeeding needs the support and encouragement of partners, families and health carers. Breastfeeding mothers who go back to their work also need support from their employers.
What is ‘Exclusive Breastfeeding’?
Exclusive breastfeeding is when the baby is completely on breastfeed without any other external fluids. Breastmilk provides all the nutrients that a baby needs for around the first six months of life.
The recommendation to give exclusive breastmilk in the first six months is to maximize the benefits of breastfeeding for families (less illness, cost-saving), and to minimize the risks associated with not breastfeeding (infections and illness). Health workers should ensure that new parents, especially a mother get information on the benefits of breastfeeding and should discuss the potential risks of not breastfeeding or of providing complementary foods to their babies too early.
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Benefits of Breastfeeding:
Benefits of Breastfeeding For the baby
Babies who are fed breastmilk have a lower risk of:
- Gastrointestinal infections
- Atopic disease
- Middle ear infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Respiratory infections
- Obesity in childhood and later life
- Type 1 and 2 diabetes in childhood or later life
- Some childhood cancers
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Breastfed babies are also less likely to be hospitalized for illnesses and infections.
- Growth and Development: Breastmilk has the essential components to protect and build the baby’s immature immune system. Breastmilk is easy to digest for an infant than the formulas.
- Psychological Benefits: A frequent skin-to-skin contact the connection between the mother and the baby during breastfeeding can enhance the emotional attachment between mother and baby.
Benefits of Breastfeeding For the mother:
According to the research, breastfeeding has remarkable health benefits for mothers too.
- Help the uterus to get its pre-pregnant state easily
- It usually helps women to lose weight after a baby’s birth
- Reduce the risk of mothers with gestational diabetes converting into type 2 diabetes
- Reduces the risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
- May reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- For society
- Environmentally friendly: Breastmilk has no waste products and leaves no carbon footprint.
- Economical: Breastmilk does not cost money, and the decreased risk of illness results in reduced hospital admissions and healthcare costs.
Here, we have discussed the importance of breastfeeding which is beneficial for you as well as your baby. So, exclusively breastfeed your baby for at least 6 months and continue it for at least a year by combining with introductory food.
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