Many of the acclaimed Health Organizations encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life and most of them recommend breastfeeding to be continued for the 2nd year also as long as it is mutually desired by the mother and the baby as well.
Mothers should be encouraged to continue feeding even if there is decreased or diminished production of milk. This is because sucking stimulates the release of hormones that stimulate milk production. Frequent feeding removes the locally active inhibitor.
Nutrition from the breast milk and the protection from the illness it provides are unmatched by any other substitutes that are available commercially. Many Health benefits have been proved for both the mother and baby by breastfeeding.
Through Breastfeeding, it is not only the baby who is benefited. Mothers also benefit from feeding their baby.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING (FOR THE MOTHER)
There are a number of advantages to mothers while breastfeeding. Even though the initial sleepless nights with frequent diaper changes and lullabies are a bit tiring for the new mother, it provides her with lot of promising health benefits.
- It decreases the risk of developing Breast and Ovarian cancers in the later stages of their life.
- Breastfeeding your baby after delivery is a great idea to regain your pre-pregnancy shape.
- Decreases the post-partum bleeding that occurs after delivery.
- Increases the child spacing or in other words, it reduces the chances of next pregnancy very soon.
- Breast feeding promotes rapid uterine involution.
ADVANTAGES OF BREASTFEEDING (FOR THE INFANT)
- It goes without saying that breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants. It has all the nutrients in the right proportion required for your baby to grow, with an exception of Vitamin D.
- Breastfeeding lowers the risk of developing ear infections and other respiratory illness.
- Breast fed babies have lesser trips to hospitals and have fewer hospitalizations.
- It has also been proved that breastfed babies are less likely to develop allergies and have strong immunity power.
- One of the most important factor while breastfeeding is that it helps both mother and baby to develop an emotional bonding.
- These babies have higher IQ levels due to a better brain development.
- When compared with other formulas, breast milk makes the baby to have reduced stomach upset, infections and constipations.
- Breast Milk contains vital antibodies that are required by the infant to fight infections by providing immunity.
- Reduces the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) since breastfeeding promotes safer sleep and these babies can be easily aroused from sleep than those babies who are formula fed .
- Breastfeeding for a longer period of time is linked to reduce the risk of developing Diabetes.
- It also plays an important role in maintain healthy weight gain and preventing Childhood obesity. Breast Fed Babies self-regulate their milk intake. They are better at eating only until they have satisfied their hunger, which helps them to develop healthy eating patterns.