Benefits of BreastFeeding: Whether you want to breastfeed or not depends entirely on you. But when you decide against it, it gets important to understand if it is a choice driven by inaccurate information revolving across the internet or something else. If the former, it is time to bust some myths.
Breastfeeding does not just make babies stronger but also provides several health benefits to the mother. This is one of the reasons why the WHO advises breastfeeding until 2 years or more. As we progress in the article, you will see that the recommendation does not come lightly.
Today, we are going to discuss the many benefits that come associated with breastfeeding for the mother and the child and the things every new mother seeks an answer to when they look for the advantages of breastfeeding.
Let us start right with the many benefits of breastfeeding.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for a Mother and Child
Benefits of breast feeding for a baby
1. Provides nutrition for babies
Breast milk consists of everything which a baby needs for the first six months of their life. In fact, its composition changes according to baby’s changing needs, specifically in the first month of the life.
In the first few days after you give birth, your breast produces a yellowish thick fluid known a colostrum which is high in protein, low in sugar and filled with beneficial compounds – a wonder food.
2. Lowers the risk of diseases
One of the primary importance of exclusive breastfeeding is that it lowers the baby’s risk for several diseases and illnesses which include:
- Cold and infections
- Middle ear infections
- Intestinal tissue damage
- Bowel diseases
- Childhood leukemia.
3. Contains important antibodies
Breast milk is packed with antibodies that helps your baby fight bacteria and viruses. This specifically applies to the first milk’s colostrum which provides high amount of immunoglobin A (IgA) and multiple other antibodies. The IgA protect babies from getting unwell by giving a protecting layer to baby’s throat, nose, and digestive system.
Benefits of breastfeeding for a mother
1. Helps reduce weight
Although the difference is not incredibly significant, there are some reports that suggest that breastfeeding helps lower weight. It is likely that after around 3 months of lactation, you will start witnessing an increase in fat burning.
2. Lowers disease risks
If we had to list down 10 importance of breastfeeding for mothers, the most crucial one would be lowered risk of diseases. It offers long term protection against several diseases including cancer and:
· High blood pressure
· Type 2 diabetes
· Heart diseases.
3. Helps contract the uterus
After delivery, uterus goes through a process known as involution that helps it to return to its original size. What drives this process is a hormone known as Oxytocin, which increases throughout the pregnancy period.
Besides the pregnancy period, the oxytocin level also increases when you breastfeed. This, in turn, betters uterine contraction, lowers bleeding, and help the uterus get back to its previous size.
Now that we have investigated the many benefits that breastfeeding offers to the mother and the child, it is time to get to another element that tend to keep new moms from the life-changing process.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Feeding:
Misinformation around some of the most frequently asked questions about breastfeeding. Let us take it from one question at a time.
What is skin-to-skin contact and how to achieve it?
Skin-to-skin contact means, holding your baby in nothing but his/her diapers against your skin when breastfeeding. This can be under your top or under a light blanket. Skin-to-skin contact helps you and your baby to get to know each better over the first few weeks; it also helps your baby in suckling with his/her natural crawling and latching reflexes.
In case, skin-to-skin contact is delayed for some reason, it is no reason to worry, as it does not mean that you cannot bond with your child when you do get the chance for it.
If you have a C-section, you should be able to have skin-to-skin contact immediately just as in natural birth.
What are the different types of breastfeeding positions?
There are a few different breastfeeding positions like the cradle, back lying, football, Australian hold, inverted side-lying, etc. But the effectiveness is something that varies from mothers to mothers. So, the best thing that you can do is experiment and see what suits you best.
What should be the breastfeeding frequency?
What should be the frequency and how long should a mother breastfeed every time are two of the most asked questions by new parents.
Frequent breastfeeding tends to encourage a good milk supply and lowers engorgement. You should aim for nursing a minimum of 10-12 times a day. Also, note that while there is no such thing as feeding too often, there is feeding less. So, nurse at the first hunger sign instead of waiting for your baby to start crying.
When should breastfeeding stop?
The WHO advises that babies should be breastfeed for six months before they are moved to the appropriate family foods.
Healthcare Plan For New Moms and Dads in the Workforce
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Get access to a complete healthcare package which includes group health insurance and other benefits like doctor teleconsultations, discounted medicines, access to fitness sessions and webinars.
If you are a team member and looking for affordable healthcare benefits, refer us to your company HR or if you are already an Employer/HR, you can subscribe to our plan today, click on the button below to check out our membership plans for your employee’s healthcare and their family for their safety and better health.