“When a mother gives birth, her body is not only able to provide nourishment to her baby, but is also designed to be its own personal medicine cabinet. Breast milk is the best and most natural food you can give a child, and applying it sparingly on a baby’s head, eye or skin will eliminate cradle cap, acne, rashes, dryness, and even eye infections.”
― Suzy Kassem
Breastfeeding is not only the mode of feeding the baby but a mean to stronger connection between mom and baby. This is the foundation for the greatest connection of two beings in the world, the Mother & child. Breastfeeding is a natural experience still lots of things to be practiced and learnt.
Pre-Milk called Colostrum that comes in a day or two after delivering of child is full of antibodies to protect newborn baby. Full milk usually three to four days after delivery is rich sugar and volume is digested quickly and required to feed often. Breastfeeding is beneficial for both mother and child in many ways:
Breast milk contains antibodies and makes your infant stronger to fight germs and lessens the chances of developing many infections. It helps a baby’s immune system work best. It has been found that breastfed babies have lesser experiences of ill health. They cry less and have digestion related problems. The prevalence of pneumonia, colds and other viruses is less among breastfed children.
Lessens risk of chronic illnesses
Breastfeeding has not only short term but also long term benefits. Most of the chronic diseases in adulthood have their origin in early age. Many studies report positive effects of breastfeeding during babyhood on chronic diseases in later life, mainly on cardiovascular diseases, obesity, hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia. It also lowers the risk of cancer.
Lessens Risk of SIDS
Breast milk contains many significant elements that cannot be possible to have in artificial milk. They cannot be created by artificial means but can only be made by mother. The little one gains much of his immunity from mother’s antibodies while in the womb but after delivery these antibodies steadily fade away. Baby starts creating his own antibodies. The peak period of SIDS risk is between two and six months of age. At this time child’s immunity power is lowest and the susceptibility to infection is maximum as the antibodies acquired from mother are at low level and the baby has not yet made adequate amount of his own. Here comes the important role of breast milk. Mother breast milk renews and updates baby’s immunity with every feed. Hence breastfeeding lessens the risk of sudden infant death syndrome significantly.
Makes Both Leaner
Losing weight is a concern for many mothers after the birth of a baby. Breastfeed your baby, you’ll burn so many calories and pregnancy weight will melt off. Breastfeeding with regular moderate exercise will help a breastfeeding mother lose weight along with cardiovascular fitness. Both mother and child become Leaner as the result of breastfeeding. Breastfed babies have a lower risk of obesity in early and adulthood stages.
Breastfeeding accelerates healing from pregnancy and childbirth to a great extent. It helps stop bleeding from uterus. It helps to shrink uterus back to original size. Breastfeeding may help to deal with the risk of postpartum depression, breast & ovarian cancer, diabetes etc. Women lose calcium while breastfeeding. Recent studies show that after in the long term, it may actually lead to stronger bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Recent studies say that breastfeeding mothers have lower risk of hip fracture in later stages.
Lower chances of various cancers
Research shows that new mothers can reduce the possibility of breast cancer by breastfeeding their babies. The longer they continue, the risk reduces even more. During breastfeeding period women miss and delay their menstrual periods which leads to lesser number of exposure to hormones like estrogen responsible for breast cancer cell growth. Also during pregnancy and breastfeeding period mothers shed breast tissue which helps to remove damaged cell responsible for developing breast cancer. Breastfeeding may also lead to lower risk of ovarian cancer by causing less exposure to estrogen by preventing ovulation and menstrual periods. Also most women tend to consume more nutritious food, avoid smoking & alcohol, follow healthier lifestyle when they are breastfeeding and limit the chances of any cancer.
Better Antibody response to Vaccines
Breastfed babies have a better antibody response to vaccines. There will be less chance your baby will get ill. You can spend good quality time with your baby. Breastfeeding is a helpful distraction from pain during vaccination for babies. Mothers find it helpful to breastfeed while their baby receives a vaccination to reduce their baby’s pain perception.
A leave from your period
Breastfeeding your baby leads to delay in menstruation. Breastfeeding leads to release of prolactin (a hormone released from the anterior pituitary gland that provokes milk creation after child’s birth), which avoids ovulation (The release of the mature egg from the ovary). Hence avoids the pregnancy. It’s a free birth control method.
Just Simple, Easy & Time Saving
This is the simplest and easiest way to feed your baby. You have to merely pull up your shirt and feed your baby. No cooking or mixing or heating of food is required. It is an instant, always available food at the right temperature for baby. Mothers don’t have to worry to carry any extra stuff with them! You don’t need to buy and measure formula, sterilize nipples, or warm bottles, it saves you time and money. It also gives you regular time to relax quietly with your newborn as you bond.
Feel Good Factor
Warmth in the arms of his mother, food from her breasts & Feeling of security in her presence, these are the only demands of a newborn. Breastfeeding fulfills all three of them. Breastfeeding is an amazing experience and one of the most beautiful things that exist in divine nature. How amazing it is that the moment you give birth to your baby, nature has the provision to feed the child through mothers body. It makes mother feel awesome & empowering to see baby grow and flourish on breast milk alone in early stage.
Studies have shown that breastfeeding mothers are much stronger and brave to stand up for their kid’s rights and safety.
Nursing does not diminish the beauty of a woman’s breasts; it enhances their charm by making them look lived in and happy. ~Robert A. Heinlein
Unfortunately HIV infected mothers have the risk to breastfeed their kids without certain medication.