Importance and Benefits of Breastfeeding

Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months?

Breast milk is best for your baby. Not only does it contain the vital nutrients and vitamins that your baby needs in the first six months, it is also packed with immunity-boosting substances that protect your baby from diseases. It is also great for the mom.

Here are a few benefits of breastfeeding.

For the baby

  • Complete food

The mother’s milk has the right balance of nutrients such as proteins, fat, vitamins, and minerals needed by the little one. Unlike formula foods, breast milk is easily digestible and does not typically cause constipation, diarrhoea, or digestive problems. Also, the breast milk composition and volume slowly adapt itself to meet the baby’s changing feeding needs, so you won’t have to worry about how much needs to be fed.

  • Protects baby from illnesses

Colostrum, the first milk that your body produces for the baby, is rich in antibodies and other immune properties that protect your baby from several illnesses. High levels of immunoglobin A, protect your baby’s digestive system and kills off viruses and bacteria.  It is seen that babies who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months have fewer infections and diseases such as Gastrointestinal infections (e.g. diarrhoea and vomiting), Atopic disease (including eczema and asthma), Middle ear infections, Urinary tract infections, Respiratory infections, Type 1 and 2 diabetes.

  • Promotes growth & development

Babies who are breastfed typically have a healthier weight gain and are less likely to become overweight when they grow. It is easier to digest than formulas, and changes from feed to feed to suit each baby’s unique needs, making it the ideal food to promote healthy growth and development.

  • Establishes mom and baby bond

When you hold your baby skin-to-skin while breastfeeding, it helps develop an inexplicable bond and keeps them feeling secure.

For the mother

  • Breastfeeding helps burn calories and may help lose pregnancy weight faster. This is noticeable typically after 3 months of delivery.
  • The levels of oxytocin increase significantly during pregnancy, delivery, and also when the mom is breastfeeding. The hormone helps in uterine contractions and reduces bleeding, thus helping the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size faster.
  • Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of many diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer, and even reduces the risk of post-partum depression.

Breastfeeding is an economical choice because you won’t need to spend time and money on buying and measuring formulas, sterilizing nipples, warming bottles etc. The milk that you express is at the right temperature for your baby and easy for him/her to drink. The time that you spend breastfeeding your little one is actually quality time when you relax and develop a healthy bond with your newborn.

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