10 things you should know about breast milk
Breastfeeding is a natural process and nature’s gift for mothers to make their children healthy. For ages, the importance and benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and child have been communicated and been passed over generations. It is one the purest thing that bonds the mother and the baby eternally.Not only this, breast milk contains antibodies which help the baby to fight against numerous health conditions. Isn’t it amazing to know how precious breast milk is? But in recent times, due to busy schedules or feeding issues, mothers begin to give formula milk to their babies early on, which doctors worry to be not as effective as breast milk. Mothers should breastfeed their babies exclusively for at least 6 months, so that they stay healthy.
So knowing these 10 things can help you understand the importance of breast milk for mothers and babies.
1. When the babies are breastfed regularly, it gives fewer reasons to visit the paediatrician:
A baby who is fed only on breast milk will have fewer reasons to visit the paediatrician as the baby is going to be less prone to health risks, such as diarrhoea, ear infections and digestive problems. It is believed that babies who breastfeed are the ones who grow into healthier adults with lesser risk of diabetes, eczema and even obesity.
2. Breast milk has the perfect combination of nutrients, fat and proteins which makes the baby healthy:
Breast milk has an ample amount of lactose, protein, fat and water that can be easily digested by a newborn's delicate system. This is consistent with breastfed babies when compared to babies on formula feed. Also, as mothers tend to consciously eat nutritious food during breast-feeding phase, the little one has a direct intake of nutrients through breast milk.
3. It builds a beautiful bond between mother and the baby:
Babies love the warm touch and close contact with the mother. This period of breastfeeding can nurture the baby and enrich the bond between the two. It is also a soothing phase for the mother who gets to be close with the baby.
4. It’s more convenient for mother and baby:
There is no need to carry bottles and formula, think of hygiene and sterilize bottles. All you need is a wrap and you can comfortably breastfeed anywhere - which means greater convenience.
5. You don’t have to spend money on something artificial when natural resources are present in yourself.
Formula milk does not come cheap but breast milk can be sourced anywhere and anytime from a mother. The World Health Organisation predominantly advises breast milk as the only diet for the six months of a baby’s life with no other substitute.
6. Breast-feeding reduces the risk of SIDS:
There is enough research to suggest that the sudden infant death syndrome, also known as cot death is less common in breastfed babies because they are provided with a good amount of nutrition as compared to bottle-fed babies.
7. Surprisingly, breastfeeding helps in managing the weight of the mother:
As most of the mothers worry about losing weight, it’s interesting to know that through breastfeeding, the process of managing and losing weight becomes far easier – or so studies find.
8. Mothers who breastfeed are less prone to depression:
Postpartum depression, a symptom that is less seen among many new mothers is relatively lesser in mothers who breastfeed their babies. This is perhaps due to the right hormones released during breastfeeding.
9. Lesser loss of blood in mothers:
In response to baby’s sucking, the mother’s body releases a hormone that makes her uterus contract and get smaller which results in less bleeding.
10. Breastfeeding lowers breast cancer risk:
Studies have shown that breastfeeding can lower breast cancer risk, especially if a woman breastfeeds for longer duration, say until the baby turns two years of age.
Knowing the importance of breastfeeding, it is advisable for all the mothers to breastfeed their babies at least until they are 6 months old. After that, they can continue breastfeeding with a combination of some solid food.