Breast feeding is beneficial for both the mother and her newborn child. It provides full nutrition to the baby till six months of life after which it is complemented with soft food. It should be started soon after birth. During feeds, a mother holds the baby close to her chest. This promotes emotional bonding and establishes good parent- child relationship.
Breast Milk: Know about it all
Breast milk is clean, uncontaminated, safe and inexpensive. It is easy to give and does not need preparing and washing of bottles and utensils. It is quicker to breast feed compared to preparing and giving formula milk. Overall it is less stressful for mothers to breastfeed than to give formula milk. This has a huge impact on milk production as stress almost always adversely affects milk production and emotional bonding.
Benefits of Breastfeeding:
- Higher Immunity: Breastfed children are at less risk of infections like diarrhea and allergies. This saves the family from the stress of unwell child as well as proves economical for parents in the long run.
- Breast feeding works as a natural contraceptive: This protects against next pregnancy and helps to maintain the gap between pregnancies. As a precaution, other contraceptive measures should be taken during this period.
- Helps a woman get back in shape: Women gain weight during pregnancy. With increased responsibilities after childbirth, it is often a difficult task to shed those extra kilos gained during pregnancy. It is easier for breast feeding mothers to lose weight compared to those who give artificial milk.
- Prevents breast cancer: Breast cancer is one of the commonest cancers in women. There is evidence to suggest that breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Hence it is recommended that all lactating mothers breastfeed their babies for at least 6 months exclusively. It is also recommended that they maintain good breast hygiene, maintain a good diet and not opt for crash diets and starvation as they are lactating.