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Health Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mums and Babies

Happy World Breastfeeding Week

Photo credit: WHO

                                            

August 1-7th is set aside globally to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3 in 5 babies are not breastfed within the first hour of life and thus, those babies are at higher risk of death and disease.

Hence, we can’t help but reiterate the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child. Breast milk is the best thing you can do for your baby. If there are no medical restrictions, it is recommended by the WHO to breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months exclusively and afterwards as part of complementary feeding up to 2 years.

Here are the some of the numerous benefits of breastfeeding for Mums and Babies:

Baby

Breast milk is a wonder of nature as it evolves as your baby grows. It contains antibodies and proteins that protect your baby.

  • Breast milk has the necessary amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats to meet your baby’s needs.
  • Breast milk supports healthy brain and eye development for your baby.
  • The nutrients found in breast milk are the healthiest and most gentle for your baby’s digestive system.
  • Protects your baby from food allergies, protein intolerance etc.
  • Breast milk supports and boosts your baby’s immune system in ways that no other substance can.
  • Breastfed babies have a lower risk of ear infections, nappy rash, gastroenteritis etc.
  • Breastfed babies have a lower incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Breastfeeding promotes the proper development of baby’s jaw and teeth and provides your baby with optimal oral development and decrease the risk of tooth decay.
  • Breastfed infants tend to have higher IQs due to good brain development early in life
  • In the long term, breastfed babies have a decreased risk of malnutrition, obesity and heart disease compared to formula fed babies.

Mum

  • Mums who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and ovarian cancer later on in life.
  • Breastfeeding helps your uterus to contract and return to its pre-pregnancy size in less time.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the amount of postpartum initial bleeding and decreases menstrual blood loss during the first few months after childbirth.
  • It is inexpensive, convenient and requires little to no equipment.
  • Mothers who breastfeed tend to lose weight more easily than mothers who bottle feed
  • Breastfeeding is more economical than formula feeding
  • Breastfeeding promotes mother-baby bonding
  • Hormones released during breast-feeding create feelings of warmth and calm in the mother
Sources:

https://www.bellefit.com/blog/the-benefits-of-breastfeeding-for-mom-and-baby/

https://www.lansinoh.com/en/resources/11-benefits-of-breastfeeding-for-baby/

World Health Organization

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