Advantages of Breastfeeding

Advantages of Breastfeeding
Highlights

Breastfeeding is one of the foundations of life Breastfeeding not only provides physical, emotional, and mental health benefits but also builds the lifelong bond between a mother and her child

Breastfeeding week Aug 1 to Aug 7

Breastfeeding is one of the foundations of life. Breastfeeding not only provides physical, emotional, and mental health benefits but also builds the lifelong bond between a mother and her child.

To focus on advocating breastfeeding as an important part of mother and baby’s health, first to seventh of August is celebrated as Breastfeeding week. Often, there are many misconceptions among women in India regarding Breastfeeding.

Dr Annam Ashwini, Consultant - Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Aster Prime Hospital Ameerpet, advocates breastfeeding to all the mothers.

According to the surveys, only two out of five women initiate the practice within the first hour of childbirth and half the number of mothers doesn’t follow exclusive breastfeeding for first six months.

Shegives a list of facts and advice to new mothers

Advantages of Breastfeeding :

  • Breastfeeding should be started within one hour after the delivery and should be continued as long as the baby needs.
  • Breast feeding increases the bond between mother and baby
  • Breast feeding decreases the risk of respiratory tract infections, diarrhoea, asthma, food allergies in babies
  • Breastfeeding may also improve cognitive development and decreases the risk of obesity in adulthood.
  • Breast feeding is cost effective and does not require any sterilization
  • Breast milk can be stored for 6 hours and need not be heated before feeding.
  • Food consumed by the mother doesn’t affect the baby’s health as it won’t be secreted in breast milk.
  • Breast feeding doesn’t cause any disfiguration.

Advantages of breast milk :

  • Breast milk is very nutritious and can easily be digested by the baby
  • Breastfeeding lowers baby's risk of sudden infant death syndrome by about half.
  • It is also rich in lactose and enhances the growth of lactobacilli in the intestine.
  • Hormone called oxytocin is released when baby sucks which helps the mom’s uterus to contract, and also reduces post-delivery blood loss. Also, breastfeeding will help your uterus return to its normal size more quickly
  • Breast milk is full of minerals. Some of the minerals in your breast milk are iron, zinc, calcium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, and selenium. Minerals, like vitamins, are needed for healthy growth and development in the first six months of baby’s life
  • Breast milk has 88% of water and hence the baby doesn’t need water from external sources For six months.
  • Breast milk has immunological factors like IgA, macrophages, lymphocytes, lysozymes, interferon which increase the immunity there by decreases infections in the baby.
  • Breastfeeding can decrease baby's risk of some childhood cancers. And mothers have a lower risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
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