Breastfeeding: How does it help?
Breast milk is the most valuable gift which every mother gives to her newborn baby. Breast milk has all the nutrients in the optimal amount to support the newborn baby’s growth till 6 months of age. Along with that, it helps in protecting the baby from many infections. There are many scientifically proven benefits that make breast milk the “gold standard” for infant nutrition. Read on to find out why you must breastfeed your child and also about how to make sure you are doing it in the correct way.
What are the immediate benefits of breastfeeding?
Benefits of breastfeeding
Right Balance of nutrients
Breast milk contains all the nutrients in optimum amount for your child’s growth and development till the age of 6 months. This is the reason the World Health Organisation and the American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended exclusive breastfeeding till the age of 6 months for a newborn baby.
Breast milk has hormones and the right amount of proteins, energy, carbohydrates, fats, and most vitamins and minerals to help your baby grow and develop.
Breast milk adapts to your baby’s needs as your baby grows and he/she is nourished accordingly. For example, for the first few days after giving birth, a thick, sticky, early form of breast milk called colostrum is produced. Colostrum is rich in nutrients and antibodies which are essential for a baby’s growth. This gradually transitions to breast milk in three to four days.
Breast milk has a unique type of fat called DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which helps in the development of your baby’s brain and eyes. Not only fat, but the type of protein present in breast milk is also unique.
Breast milk is easy to digest because of the high content of protein called whey.
Clean & Hygienic –Breast milk is sterile, free of cost, and delivered directly to the baby from the mother at the correct temperature that is suitable for the newborn.
Easier to Digest – The components of the human breast milk are designed to suit a newborn’s immature gut, to get digested easily, hence leads to better absorption & results in terms of growth.
It’s Baby specific – Yes, a mother’s milk comes naturally designed for their baby, for example in the case of preterm deliveries mother’s milk has extra protein and calories to help the premature baby catch up growth.
Breast milk gives readymade immunity-Breast milk especially the colostrum is rich in antibodies which act as a shield for the baby and, protect them from many infections. No wonder studies have shown that exclusively breast-fed babies get pneumonia, diarrhea, and ear infections. Breast milk helps in the development of adipose tissue, prevents the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, increases resistance to cold and flu, and decreases the risk of asthma and eczema.
Ensures good maternal Health- very few people know that breastfeeding has a plethora of benefits for mothers too. Not only does it help in the emotional bonding between you and the baby, but it also reduces the maternal risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, Type 2 Diabetes mellitus, helps in post-pregnancy weight loss, and provides natural contraception. To find out more about magical benefits to lactating mothers please read the blog on maternal benefits of breastfeeding https://www.babyhelp.in/post/8-benefits-of-breastfeeding-for-the-mother.
It’s Economical -If you breastfeed, you can save money on formula, use of bottles & other accessories.
So go ahead and continue with breastfeeding!!
Note: The images mentioned in this blog are from Getty Images.