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Why is breast milk better than formula?

Why is breast milk better than formula?

by: Dr. Sorabh Goel
Consultant - Neonatology-Paras Bliss, Panchkula

Choosing whether to breastfeed or formula feeds their baby is one of the biggest decisions expectant and new parents will make. Health experts agree that breastfeeding is the healthiest option for both mom and baby. It is recommended that babies feed only on breast milk for the first 6 months. Thereafter breast milk must be continued as the main part of their diet until they are at least 1to 2 years old.

Benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and baby:

Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to bond with your little one. Here are some of the many other benefits of breastfeeding:

  • Breast milk naturally has all the nutrients babies need to grow and develop.
  • Breast milk has antibodies that can help prevent your baby from getting sick.
  • Breastfeeding can help prevent health problems in your baby, such as allergies, eczema, ear infections, and stomach problems.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to be hospitalized with breathing infections.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to become obese or have diabetes.
  • Breastfeeding may help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Mothers who breastfeed find it easier to lose weight after pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding may help lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, diabetes, and certain other diseases in mothers.

Breastfeeding – Helps in bonding

It is true that breastfeeding is not always easy and natural for moms and babies. It may take some time for both mother and baby to get the hang of it. Skin to skin contact at birth will help mother and baby get a good start with breastfeeding. Being a new parent takes time, and feeding is no exception to this rule. It is important to note that mothers do not need to follow a special diet while breastfeeding. It is rare that a baby will seem sensitive to certain foods, like spicy or gassy foods such as cabbage. There are very few health problems that make breastfeeding not possible which are as follows –

  • Mothers with HIV or AIDS, as they can pass the virus to their baby.
  • Mothers on certain medicines needed to treat an ongoing health problem.
  • Mothers with an alcohol or drug addiction.

There are other reasons women are unable to breastfeed, but with good support and knowledge, most of these can be overcome. The decision about how to feed your baby in personal.

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