Are you one of those people that think babies are so cute but cringe when you see them being breastfed in public? You will change your mind after reading this. Babies need nutrients to retain their cuteness and that works out well for you, doesn’t it? Let me not tread too far away from the topic. In some weird way, I still remember what my mother’s breast milk tasted like. Do you feel the same way? I’d love to hear about it!
Now, to the facts:
Protection from childhood illnesses
Breastfeeding protects babies from viral infections like respiratory tract infections, bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, common cold, infant diarrhoea and flu by boosting their immune system. It is a safe food for newborns, containing nutrients and antibodies that protect infants from infections/illnesses. It is also readily available and with an amazing supply of nutrients.
Long time benefits for children
It contributes to babies’ good health and development. Breastfeeding is like a starter pack for living life as a tiny human and growing well into a healthy adult. Babies who were adequately breastfed usually turn out to be intelligent adults and are less likely to have type-II diabetes.
Beneficial for mothers
Breastfeeding helps mothers heal faster after childbirth, helping her uterus retain its pre-pregnancy status and lowering overall postpartum blood loss. Also, it takes 1,000 calories a day on the average to produce breast milk so breastfeeding helps mothers lose weight and possibly help her return to her pre-baby weight. Mothers’ breasts can detect any fluctuation(s) in their babies’ temperature and adjusts accordingly to accommodate their babies’ needs.
Preferably important for the first six months
Breastfeeding is the best choice of food for the first half of the year after an infant is born. WHO recommends that
- Mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth
- Infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health, and thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods, while continuing to be breastfed
- Breastfeeding should continue for up to two years or beyond.
Reduces the risk of cancer
The longer a mother breastfeeds, the higher the benefits. It reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer, heart disease or osteoporosis. A woman who breastfeeds for as long as 8 years has nearly 0% risk of breast cancer. Also, breastfeeding a baby girl could reduce a mother’s lifetime risk of breast cancer by 25%.
What do you know about breastfeeding? Are there any myths that you later crushed due to better findings? Share in the comments!