Breastmilk is considered to be the best as it is customized and is baby-specific for healthy growth and development of your baby. American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists and many other medical authorities highly recommended breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months and providing breastmilk up to 2 years.
Healthier Happier baby
Breastmilk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria and lower your baby’s risk of having asthma, eczema and allergies. Exclusive breastfed baby have lower incidence of ear infections, respiratory illness, diarrhea, and generalized illness and sick visits to doctors. Breastfed children also have lower risk of acquiring leukemia, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, Necrotizing enterocolitis, Sudden Infant death Syndrome (SIDS), and type 2 diabetes.
Baby Specific ingredients
Initial milk that comes in during the first couple of days after delivery is called colostrum. It is also known as Liquid Gold due to its deep yellow color and rich quality in nutrients like vitamin A and K. The colostrum is very high in needed antibodies to protect baby from infection and is considered to be baby’s first vaccination. The colostrum helps coating the baby’s intestinal lining and helps pass meconium, which is the black tarry stool seen in the first few days of life. This decreases the risk of jaundice.
As your milk comes in, the quantity of milk increases to meet the demand of growth spurts and quality of milk changes to mature milk with right amount of required fat, sugar, water, proteins and antibodies to help with the growing needs of your baby.
Health benefits for mothers
Breastfeeding your baby helps in numerous health benefits for you. Breastfeeding increases uterine contraction which assist uterus to get to the pre-pregnancy state faster and also decreases postpartum bleeding. Women who breastfeed have lower risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Breastfeeding helps loose up to 500 calories a day, what a great way to get back in shape! And above all, it decreases the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancers.
Cost-effective, Clean, Comfortable and Convenient
Most mothers reports feeling most comfortable and relaxed when breastfeeding their little ones. It gives mother a sense of empowerment in seeing their baby grow with the vital nutrition. Breastfeeding is a great way of bonding with your baby. It’s the time allotted every feeding session just for you and your baby.
Breastfeeding allows for germ free, cleaner transfer of milk from mom to baby. No washing bottles and nipples. No sterilizing hassle with directly breastfeeding your baby. The milk is at risk temperature, convenient feeding with no preparation required. It’s cheap to breastfeeding, whereas feeding formula can cost anywhere from 150-500$ a month.
Breastfeeding can help as a natural contraceptive method with following a few guidelines:
Breastfeeding mother’s menstrual period must not have resumed
Exclusive breastfeeding, at least every 4 hours around the clock (even at night). Night feedings are important in creating the lactation amenorrhea state. Long stretches in between breastfeeding, especially at night, can result in return of ovulation.
Not giving baby any pacifiers, bottles or formula
Mother must be less than 6 months postpartum
Benefits for ALL
Overall medical cost can be reduced with increased rates of breastfeeding as fewer babies will get sick and suffer from chronic conditions like childhood obesity, diabetes, asthma, allergies, eczema, cancers, and so forth. Breastfeeding mother bond well with other breastfeeding mothers creating community support system. Decline in breastfeeding would increase the need for animal milk for making formula, which can contribute to global warming. Overall, breastfeeding is environment friendly.