Breastfeeding is one of the most effective methods of feeding infants. It is nutritious because it contains antibodies that aid in the child’s protection against a variety of common childhood illnesses. Furthermore, it provides energy and nutrition to the baby not only during the first few months of life, but also in later years.
According to the WHO, breastfed children have higher intelligence and are less likely to develop diabetes later in life. Furthermore, infants are less likely to develop breast and ovarian cancers, among other diseases. The miracle of birth brings with it a slew of new experiences, emotions, and decisions, one of which is whether or not to breastfeed your child. World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, followed by regular breastfeeding for a year or more?
When Should You Begin Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding should begin within the first hour of a child’s birth, according to WHO and UNICEF, and the infant should rely solely on breastfed milk for the first six months of life. After six months, he should be fed hygienic and nutritious food, as well as breastfed for the next two years of his life.
How does it help mothers?
Breastfeeding is also beneficial to mothers because it aids in the prevention of chronic diseases. Furthermore, it promotes skin-to-skin contact between the mother and the baby, which strengthens the emotional bond between the mother and the child. Breastfeeding the child also helps the mother understand their child’s problems and behavioral patterns.
Let’s look at the advantages of breastfeeding for both mother and baby!
How Breastfeeding Helps the Baby
Breastfeeding is not only beneficial to mothers. It’s also great for babies; breast milk is the only source of nutrition recommended for babies in their first six months of life. Breastmilk has been shown to aid in the development and maintenance of a baby’s immune system. Breastfed babies have fewer infections, inflammation, and illnesses, and breastfeeding may even help protect them against diabetes, asthma, and obesity as they grow older.
Mothers literally pass on life-saving protection through breastfeeding because breast milk contains nutritional components from mom, such as antioxidants, enzymes, live antibodies, and immune properties. As a result, breastfeeding is linked to lower rates of infant mortality and SIDS. Breastfeeding, however, benefits more than just newborn babies. Breastfed babies have a lower incidence of childhood cancers, fewer speech and orthodontic problems, fewer cavities, improved brain maturation, a lower risk of developing Crohn’s disease and colitis, and a slew of other advantages as adults.
Breastfeeding has the following advantages for the baby:
1. Nutrition for the Infant
Breast milk contains all of the nutrients that a child requires and is at the proper temperature. Colostrum is high in protein and low in sugar, and it aids in the development of the newborn’s digestive system.
2. Formation of antibodies
Breast milk contains antibodies that provide immunity against viruses and bacteria.
3. Reduces the likelihood of developing diseases
Breast milk may reduce a baby’s risk of respiratory tract infections, ear infections, cold infections, allergies, bowel problems, and a variety of other conditions.
4. Children may benefit from a healthy weight
Breastfed babies have healthy gut bacteria, which aids in fat storage. It also reduces the likelihood of babies gaining weight and becoming obese.
How Breastfeeding Benefits Mom
Carrying another living thing inside you for 9 months, let alone giving birth can be taxing on both the body and the mind. Moms recover faster if they start breastfeeding right away. As a result, breastfeeding mothers typically return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster than non-breastfeeding mothers. Creating and maintaining a milk supply actually burns an extra 500 calories per day! Breast milk bottles on the background of a mother holding her baby and breastfeeding it.
Breastfeeding mothers also have less vaginal bleeding, lower rates of breast and ovarian cancer, urinary tract infections, anemia, osteoporosis, and diabetes, and it is linked to helping the uterus return to normal size. Breastfeeding is also associated with a lower risk of developing postpartum depression, and breastfeeding mothers often report a more positive mood.
This is due to the fact that breastfeeding produces oxytocin and prolactin, which are naturally occurring hormones that promote stress reduction and positive feelings. Breastfeeding also allows for more skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby, which helps to form a stronger physical and emotional bond. Establishing and nurturing that bond at a young age can help children avoid behavioral and social problems later in life.
Breastfeeding has the following benefits for the mother:
1. Could aid in weight loss
Breastfeeding may help with weight loss after pregnancy because it causes the body to burn more calories while lactating.
The benefits of breastfeeding may aid in the contraction of the uterus. Oxytocin, a hormone that increases during the breastfeeding process and promotes uterine contractions, may aid in the contraction of the uterus.
2. Depression symptoms may be reduced
New mothers who breastfeed their infants less frequently are more likely to develop postpartum depression.
3. Other diseases’ risk may be reduced
Breastfeeding protects mothers against chronic diseases in the long run.
How Long Should You Breastfeed Your Child?
While most experts agree that breastfeeding should last at least six months, how long should you breastfeed your child?
Despite the benefits to both mother and child, some babies (around 9-12 months) may begin to resist nursing. This is perfectly normal! It is up to each mother and child to determine when it is appropriate to wean (stop breastfeeding). When you stop breastfeeding, your body will go through some changes, including changes in breast size and density. If your breasts continue to feel overly full or swollen, release a small amount of milk with a pump or your hand. Breastfeeding is also linked to increased fertility. Breastfeeding reduces your chances of becoming pregnant (though it is not a guaranteed method of preventing pregnancy). When you skip nursing sessions or stop breastfeeding entirely, your chances of becoming pregnant skyrocket.