Why Breastfeed Your Baby?
Breastfeeding is a great way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of your baby; it is also an important part of the reproductive process and is important for the health of mothers. Breastfeeding has been found to provide health benefits to both the mother and child. Breastfeeding can reduce infections in babies, boost a babies immune system and prevent obesity. Mothers can also benefit form breastfeeding because breastfeeding can reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
A recent review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the best way of feeding infants. After six months of age infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond. To help mothers continue breastfeeding the world health organization recommends some guidlines.
The World Health Organization Recommends
- Initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of life
- Exclusive breastfeeding – that is the infant only receives breast milk without any additional food or drink, not even water
- Breastfeeding on demand – that is as often as the child wants, day and night
- Limited or no use of bottle or pacifier
Breast milk provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one-third during the second year of life.
Benefits of Breast Milk
Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development, and protects the infant against infectious and chronic diseases. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces infant mortality due to common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea or pneumonia, and helps for a quicker recovery during illness. These effects can be measured in resource-poor and affluent societies (Kramer M et al Promotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT): A randomized trial in the Republic of Belarus. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2001, 285 (4): 413-420)
Also, breastfeeding contributes to the health and well-being of mothers, it helps to space children, reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer, increases family and national resources, is a secure way of feeding and is safe for the environment. All mothers should seriously consider breastfeeding their baby if possible. If breastfeeding is not optional for the mother, their are breast milk banks that contain breast milk for mothers who do not have breast milk.
Quick Glance at Breast Feeding Benefits!
- Reduces Infections for Baby
- Provides Immune Benefits for the Baby
- Helps Mother Reduce Weight Gained During Pregnancy
- Provides Proper Nutrition
- Reduces Costs of Feeding Newborn
You may wonder how breastfeeding can reduce weight that was gained during pregnancy. Breastfeeding requires up to an extra 500 calories a day for the mother. These calories add up and helps to pull off that extra weight gained. The more milk a mother produces the more calories she spends during the day. Women who have learned this secret are amazed at how much it can help.