The milk that is produced by the mammary glands or the breasts of females for the infant offspring is called breast milk. It is primary and high nutritious source of nutrition (superior than other commercial nutritional formulas) for the infants and newborns before they can eat and digest other kinds of foods. Solid foods are introduced at the age of 6 months though the babies can breastfeed for any amount of time they want. WHO recommends that babies must be fed with breast milk till they attain the age of at-least 6 months. Breastfeeding must be supplemented with other foods till the baby attains the age of at-least 2 years. Later it is up to the wish of the child and the mother to continue or to discontinue breastfeeding. Breast feeding has many benefits for mother and the baby health and is the cheapest and best way to provide nutrition to the new-born.
Here Are 15 Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Mother And Baby
Vital For The Baby During The First Few Days After Birth
Mother’s breast makes the ideal milk called as “first milk” or “Colostrum”. Colostrum is yellowish, thick and scant and develops the digestive tract of the baby so that he/she can digest milk and other nutrients later in life. Hence mother’s milk is vital during the first few days and weeks after birth. Doctors advise mothers to breast feed the baby for at-least a year, but you should breast feed the baby as long as he/she wants.
Decreases Risk Of Dental Problems
Children who breastfeed get calcium and other vital nutrients from the mother’s milk and develop better teeth.
Mother’s milk is rich in calcium and provides for better bone development in babies. By breastfeeding your baby you can help him/her prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis later in life.
Ideal Nutrition Source
Breast milk is the ideal nutrition for infants and babies. It has fats, vitamins and proteins in right amounts.
Best For Baby’s Digestive System
Mother’s milk is best for the digestive system and is very easy to digest. Hence the milk provides for prevention of digestive diseases that may affect your child at an early age if she/she is not breast-feeded.
Improves Baby’s Immune System
Breast milk has antibodies that improve the immune system of baby. They require these antibodies in sufficient amounts for the proper production and growth of immune cells.
Better Baby Health
Babies who are breastfed suffer less from cold, asthma, allergies, ear infections, pneumonia and viral disease. Mother’s milk also improves the digestive system of the baby so that he/she can prevent devastating gastrointestinal infections including diarrhea.
Better Brain Health
Breastfeeding the baby improves the mental health of the baby. Studies show that children who breastfeed obtain more IQ scores and have better memory and brain capacity in later years of life.
More Secure Baby Upkeep
Breast feeding requires that you come in close contact with your baby and have skin-to-skin and eye contact. All these gestures and measures improve the bonding between the mother and the baby and help the baby feel more secure.
Prevention Of SIDS
Breast milk plays a vital role in preventing SIDS or Sudden Death infant Syndrome that affects babies at early age. The disease affects babies during their sleep and causes unexpected death in babies who are less than 1 year of age. Abnormalities in certain brain areas that control arousal and breathing are being probed for causing SIDS.
Milk from other sources is rich in fats and may be low in other vital nutrients. Mother’s milk has sufficient amounts of fat and helps your baby to remain fit and avoid obesity.
Long Term Health Protection
Breast milk is full of nutrients that help your baby to prevent many chronic illnesses later in life including celiac disease (a type of allergy), Crohn’s disease and early onset of Type 1 diabetes.
Decreased Cancer Risk
Breast milks helps your baby to prevent certain cancers that effect in very early years of life and in childhood. Mother’s also have a lower risk of ovarian and breast cancer if they breast feed their babies.
Helpful In Losing Mother Weight
Breastfeeding helps the mother to lose extra weight and burns calories. This is helpful in the post-pregnancy period when mothers need to shed the weight they have gained during the pregnancy period.
Reduction In Uterine Bleeding
The hormone oxytocin gets released during breastfeeding. The hormone helps the uterus to retain its original shape and size and reduces the incidences of uterine bleeding that occur after birth.