Government efforts on promoting breastfeeding among moms should not be fruitless labour. This is because there are many studies which have elaborated the many benefits of breastfeeding not only on babies but also on mothers.
The Importance of Breastfeeding
Many experts recommend starting breastfeeding as early as possible so that more benefits can be enjoyed both by the mother and the baby. This is because breast milk is said to be the only natural food meant for your baby because it contains a lot of nutrients that can protect him or her from illnesses and infections. There are many health benefits that breast milk brings to the baby. Breast milk is also a cost-effective solution for feeding babies and it's readily available whenever the baby needs food. Breast milk is also made in the right temperature and creates a strong bond between the mother and the baby. It also gives the mother a certain sense of achievement.
Indeed breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed babies, and is recommended during the first six months of the baby's life. Breast milk provides essential nutrients that can help the baby grow and develop further. According to studies, babies who are breastfed have fewer chances of acquiring diarrhoea and vomiting. They also end up having less hospital visits. They have less ear infections and less respiratory infections. Breastfed babies have lesser constipation and have less chances of becoming obese and later on developing diabetes later in life. There is also a lesser chance of developing eczema. The longer the baby is maintained on breast milk, the longer the benefits and protection lasts. Feeding your baby with infant formulas cannot give you similar results and benefits.
Breastfeeding can also benefit the mother in several ways. Breastfeeding can lower the mother's risk for breast and ovarian cancers. It can keep the mother in great shape. It can also help the couple financially as breastfeeding saves money usually spent on infant formulas and sterilizing and feeding equipment. It further strengthens the bond between mother and baby. Breastfeeding also serves as a natural contraceptive method.
There are many misconceptions about breastfeeding which hinder its proper implementation. It's a common misconception that breastfeeding is unpopular. It's also a common misconception among women that breastfeeding causes the breast to sag. Actually, sagging of the breasts is caused by the aging process and by excess weight and not because of too much breastfeeding.
Another misconception is that breast milk is similar to infant formula. No matter how expensive your infant formula is, it cannot compete with breast milk with regards to composition and protection it gives. Breast milk contains enzymes, living cells, antibodies and hormones that protect the baby from infections and illnesses later in life.
Aside from these benefits it is said that breastfeeding can strengthen senses of the baby including taste early in life. It can also offer protection against gastrointestinal diseases and diabetes. Babies have good dental health and can speak and communicate better later on in life. Breastfed babies often have IQs which are above 8 points higher than those who are formula-fed. They are also at lower risk for breast cancer, high cholesterol, and asthma later on in life.
Breastfed Kids Are Smarter
A new study done by researchers from Brigham Young University was able to show that breastfeeding boosts cognitive performance in children and may also promote their readiness for school. This study was published in the March issue of The Journal of Pediatrics. The researchers gathered data from 7,500 mothers and their children from birth to five years of age in relation to their home environment; including how early and how often parents read to their kids.The study showed that children who were breastfed for 6 months or more performed best on reading assessments because they experienced the most optimal parenting practices. What a wonderful reason to breastfeed!
To know more about the benefits of breastfeeding, feel free to read our other articles on this site.