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importance of breastfeeding: Benefits for baby and mom

Breastfeeding


Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. However, nearly 2 out of 3 infants are not exclusively breastfed for the recommended 6 months—a rate that has not improved in 2 decades. 

Breastmilk is the ideal food for infants. It is safe, clean and contains antibodies which help protect against many common childhood illnesses. Breastmilk 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. 

Breastfed children perform better on intelligence tests, are less likely to be overweight or obese and less prone to diabetes later in life. Women who breastfeed also have a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers. 

Inappropriate marketing of breast-milk substitutes continues to undermine efforts to improve breastfeeding rates and duration world-wide.


The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby


1.Good for baby grow


Breast milk is the best food to help your baby grow and develop. It is custom-made by each mother for her own baby. Breast milk has the perfect amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals, and is easy to digest.

2.Strengthens Immune System


Babies that are breastfed for at least four months are less likely to develop conditions such as food allergies or asthma. This is due partly to the colostrum produced in the first days after birth and the high levels of protein in breastmilk, which help promote a healthy immune system.

3.Easier to Digest


Breast milk contains enzymes that make it often much easier for a baby to digest compared to formula. Most formula is made from cow’s milk, which contains enzymes that a baby’s digestive system still has not yet developed enough to properly digest. This ease in digestion helps babies avoid acid reflux and an upset stomach.

4.Breastfed babies are smarter.


 Various researchers have found a connection between breastfeeding and cognitive development. Studies concluded from IQ scores and other intelligence tests that prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding significantly improves cognitive development.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom


Research shows that breastfeeding can protect mothers from many diseases such as:

✓breast and ovarian cancer
✓diabetes
✓heart disease

Your body uses energy to make milk, so breastfeeding can help you to lose weight that you gained during pregnancy.
Exclusive breastfeeding (feeding your baby only your breast milk) may also delay the return of your periods for at least a little while. It is important to know that you can still get pregnant even if your periods do not start.

Postpartum depression affects roughly 15% of mothers. Women who breastfeed their babies are less likely to develop postpartum depression as opposed to those who pull out from breastfeeding early or do not breastfeed at all.
 
Breastfeeding causes hormonal changes. Since the feeding process allows the mother and the infant to stay physically close and look at each other eye-to-eye, it stimulates maternal caregiving and bonding. Additionally, the increase in oxytocin (the “love hormone”) decreases anxiety levels and promotes bonding.

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