Breastfeeding is a natural and the best gift for the newborn. Breast milk is the gold standard feed for your baby. Breast feeding can be initiated immediately after delivery. Exclusive breast feeding is recommended for six months. If possible optimum breast feeding can be done for 2 years or longer.
Breastfeeding is beneficial for both the baby and the mother. For the baby it is the only source of energy and nutrition. Other than nutrition, it plays major role in providing immunity and protection to baby against various infections like respiratory, intestinal and urinary tract infections. Colostrum (first milk) is also known as baby’s first vaccination, as it .It also protect baby from various allergies, chronic diseases (Asthma, Diabetes) and cancers.
Breastfeeding is also equally beneficial for mothers as it is for the children. Various benefits of breast feeding to mother are:
Pschological streangth: It gives feeling of epowerment, pride and fullfillment as she is actively involved in security, skin to skin contact and fulfillment of basic needs of child. By decreasing the infections and allergies in children, it results in less trip to doctors and so less stress to the family.
Weight Loss: Breastfeeding helps in easier and proportionate weight loss.
Protections against cancers: Mother who choose to breast feed has decreased chances of developing cancers like breast cancer and ovarian cancers.
Strengthen bones: Breast feeding decreases osteoporosis, so strengthen the bones. Thus it decreases backpain and bodypains in mothers.
Birth Control: Breast feeding is a natural contraceptive measure for birth control.
Saves Money: It is the cheapest source of milk to the baby. It does not involve any cost in storing, packaging and transportation.
It is recommended to exclusvely breastfeed children for 6 months and to continue breastfeeding for 2-3 years along with other solid food to give adequate benefit to both children and mothers.