Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Baby & Moms | Breast Milk Benefits
In this article, we will discuss all about breastfeeding: how breastmilk is preferable than formulas and supplements, benefits of breastfeeding for baby and mom, period of breastfeed, and ABCs of breastfeeding. Let us start now!
What Is Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is a natural process to nourish a baby with breast milk after birth to a specific period until he is able to chew or digest hard foods. Sometime it is known as nursing. A breast has two feeding organs with a hole that provides milk to a baby. Breast milk contains ideal nutrition and supports healthy growth of a baby.
Breastfeeding Before Artificial Formulas And Supplements/ Juices
In past eras, there was only one way to feed babies that was mother feed or breastfeed. All the mammals feed their babies with their natural milks because there is no alternative to this feed. When we dive deep into back eras, we come to know that when a mother was unable to feed her baby, few women in that society feed this baby sometimes free as a good gesture and sometime this baby-feed was paid. In Medieval Ages, and up to modern era, still in some places, mother feed their babies with milk of goat that is also light and healthy for babies. Grownup babies still drink cows’ milk.
Why Artificial Formulas And Supplements/Juices Are Popular These Days
With the scientific advancement, laboratories became able to identify ingredients/elements/vitamin in each food and tried to make artificial foods that contains same ingredients and vitamins that a baby needs. These products are easily available in the market all the time. Due to easy access and availability, people choose artificial products that are certifies from the laboratories. With the establishment of colonies, people moved from countryside and villages to cities where they cannot get goat milk to feed their babies. Moreover, companies who make these products, advertise in this way that people become convinced to feed their babies on artificial foods.
How Much Time A Mother Should Breastfeed Her Baby
Most healthcare professionals recommend to feed a baby with breast milk for at least 6 months or longer. Breast milk contains full nutrition pack that a baby needs during first 6 months. A mother should start feeding her baby with breast milk soon after the birth. The child nutritionists recommend starting breast feed as early as one hour after birth. Because, fist feed enormous benefits. Just after birth of baby, breasts produce a thick and yellowish fluid called colostrum. It is high in protein, low in sugar, and loaded with beneficial compounds that are not replaceable by artificial formulas. There is no replacement in the world for the first milk of the mother. A mother should feed her baby until he/he start digesting hard foods/organic foods/fruits.
The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends breastfeeding until 2 years old or longer until a mother can feed her baby. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) also recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months. According to APP, breastfeeding should be continued even after solid foods are introduced, until at least age 1 year or until both mom and baby agree to call it quits. According to Islamic religion, a mother should feed her baby for two year at least.
Can A Mother Use A Formula Instead Of Breastmilk?
Formulas are never perfect replacement of breast milk. However, in some cases, healthcare consultants advise formulas for specific reason. These reasons may include:
· If a mother has no or less breastmilk as in cesarean cases when hormones do not create milk.
· When a mother has a disease that can transfer into child through milk
· If a mother is too weak in health.
· Sometime a child has a specific disease and physician suggest something different in shape of formula
· If mother milk lacks vitamin D, Vitamin D drops are usually recommended
· A doctor can suggest on any other reason.
Why Breastfeeding Is Necessary
Breastfeed is the first and basic right of a baby that born in a lap of a mother. There is no food in the world that has a match of mother feed. Breastfeeding has health benefits for both babies and mothers. Breastfeeding also help protect babies and their mothers against multiple diseases.
Now we will discuss benefits of breastfeeding for babies.
Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Baby
If a mother is reluctant to feed her baby with breast milk, she may be in danger twice: firstly, her own health can go at risk; secondly, her child can be victim of health diseases. However, it is personal preference to feed a baby with breast milk or with artificial foods but universal facts about benefits of breastfeeding are still there. Let us go through all the benefits one by one that a baby receives in breast milk.
Breast Milk Is An Ideal Nutrition For Babies
Breast milk provides optimal nutrition for babies. Breastmilk has the right amount of nutrients. It is easy to digest than any other food. As baby grows, the breastmilk modifies its nutrition to what a baby needs according to age. Breast milk after one week of birth had different nutrients than the breast milk after six months. Breastmilk is softer than formulas to digest and break. Breastmilk include like fat, protein, sodium, calcium, and iron.
Breastmilk Contains Important Antibodies
Breast milk is loaded with antibodies. When a mother feeds her baby, all her antibodies moves with her breast milk towards baby that make his immune system very strong. colostrum (the first milk after birth: a thick and yellowish fluid) is full of antibodies. Formula does not provide antibodies or protection against early diseases for babies.
Breastfeeding Protects Against Certain Diseases
Breast milk for infants is particularly beneficial. It reduces your baby’s risk for diseases and improve immune system. Some of the diseases are below and you can save your child from these diseases if you feed from your breast.
· Babies, who receive breastfeed, may have a lower risk of getting serious colds and ear or throat infections compared to those babies who do not receive breastfeed.
· Breast milk also reduce chances of gut infections.
· Breastfeeding protect against middle ear, throat, and sinus infections Respiratory tract infections. Breast milk also protects against respiratory and gastrointestinal acute diseases.
· Breast milk also reduces risk of Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
· Breastfeeding also reduces the risk for childhood leukemia. Allergic diseases. Breastfeeding can be helpful for a baby against atopic dermatitis, eczema, and asthma.
· Babies who are breastfed may remain safe against risk of developing (type 1) diabetes and non-insulin-dependent diabetes (type 2).
Breast Milk Promotes Healthy Weight Gain
A baby receives quick weight gain when he receives breastfeed. Moreover, breastfeeding for a longer period (4-6 months) had a significant reduction in the chances of a baby developing overweight and obesity.
Breastfeeding Improves Child’s Smartness
Many researches and studies has proven that a child who receives breast milk is smarter than those who are grown up with formulas. Because the nutrient content of formulas cannot perfectly match breast milk and breast milk makes a child more active and smart.
Breast Milk Contains Good Temperature
Mothers worry about how much temperature of liquid formulas should be. Because of different weathers, a child need formulas boiled and cooled to a specific level. Some time it get too cool at some time it is bit hot. It can cause severe risk to the health of the child. Breast milk is always at the right temperature and ready to drink any time.
Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Moms
Breastfeed is not only beneficial for baby but mother receive equal health benefits by breastfeeding. Mother who breastfeed their babies, receives multiple health benefits. Some of the main benefits of breastfeeding for moms are below:
Breastfeeding Helps Uterus Involution And Reduces Blood Loss
During last months of pregnancy, uterus generally grows immensely and quickly. After delivery of the child, uterus goes through a specific process known as involution. In this process, uterus returns to its small size. Oxytocin is a hormone that increases during pregnancy to birth of baby. During birth, it reduces bleeding and pain. By breastfeeding, oxytocin increases and helps in contraction of uterus to its previous size. Many researches have proven that mothers who breastfeed their babies generally have less blood loss after delivery and quick uterus involution.
Breastfeeding May Help You Lose Weight
Majority of the women start gaining weight just after the birth of their baby. Some of them gain weight during pregnancy. Breastfeeding burn a lot of calories, which can help them to lose their weight gained during pregnancy. A mother, who feeds her baby with breast milk, burns 500 extra calories per day compared to mothers who do not feed breast milk.
Breastfeed Reduces Depression
Mothers who feed their babies with breast milk also keep save themselves from depression. Postpartum depression (PPD) generally develops among females shortly after childbirth. Breastfeeding produces the naturally soothing hormones like oxytocin and prolactin. These hormones promote stress reduction and positive feelings. A breast-feeding mother feels confident and remain content. Breastfeeding can support the wellness of body, mind, and spirit for the whole family because no one has duty to prepare formulas for the baby. A breast-feeding mother and her baby create a good bond on mutual harmony among them that leads to love and affection. This mutual harmony also lead to know about infant’s cues and babies learn to trust caregivers. This also helps to develop infant’s early behavior.
Breastfeeding Reduces Disease Risk For Mother
Breastfeeding seems to provide a mother with a good protection against several diseases including cancer. The long time a mother feeds her baby, she receives more protection against risks of breast diseases and ovarian cancer. Women who feed their babies with breastfeed have a lower risk for:
· Heart disease
· High blood pressure
· High blood fats
Prevention In Ovulation And Menstruation
A mother who is continue sly feeding her baby with breast milk, receives prevention in ovulation and menstruation. The delay of menstrual cycles may actually be nature’s way of ensuring there is some time between pregnancies. This change as an additional benefit for breastfeeding mothers.
General Benefits Of Breastfeeding
Apart from all health benefits, breastfeeding has many other advantages and benefits. To breastfeed a baby, mothers will not have to:
· Spend money on costly formula or powder milks.
· Calculate how much powder milk a baby needs in a day.
· Generally, babies on breast feed do not disturb their mothers.
· Waste time cleaning and sterilizing nipples and milk bottles.
· Leave bed to prepare milk in the middle of the night.
· Making necessary arrangements for milk while on the go.
· No need to consult pediatrician that how should warm/cool should be.
Tips For New Breastfeeding Moms (ABCS Of Breastfeeding)
Breastfeeding is not a much difficult task. However, if you are hesitating to feed or you or not aware how to feed a baby, you can ask for tips from any trusted person.
Below are the tips to prepare oneself for breastfeeding. These tips are also known as ABCs of breastfeeding.
· Get regular prenatal care and visit gynecologist for opinions.
· Discuss your plan to breastfeed and ask for your diet that can improve your breastfeeding.
· Take a breastfeeding class before birth of baby.
· Meet to a lactation consultant and ask her to teach you breastfeeding basics.
· Learn the positions to feed a baby
· Ask a nutritionist for your diet plan during breastfeed.