World Breast feeding Week Why Mothers Should Be Encouraged To Breastfeed

 

With this week, August 1- August 7 marking the 25th World Breastfeeding Week, here is why breastfeeding is important for the newborns as well as the mothers.

 

Benefits of Breastfeeding for infants

 

1. Best source of nutrition

According to the World Health Organisation, “Colostrum, the yellowish, sticky breast milk produced at the end of pregnancy, is recommended as the perfect food for the newborn, and feeding should be initiated within the first hour after birth.” Various other leading health organizations recommend that infants should be breastfed exclusively for the first six months, and can be continued with other nutritional food items up to two years.

 

2. It aids proper growth & development

Breast milk is a good source of vital nutrients that help the development of baby’s central nervous system, brain, retina, and hormones. It is also rich in taurine, cholesterol, and DHA that help facilitate IQ growth in kids.

 

3. Protection against infections

US Food and Drug Administration stated, "human milk feeding decreases the incidence and/or severity of urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections, diarrhea, and bacterial meningitis."

Not only this, according to WHO, breastfeeding reduces child mortality and has health benefits that extend to adulthood.

 

Benefits of Breastfeeding for the mothers

 

1. Facilitates post-pregnancy weight loss

Breastfeeding women can lose up to 500 calories per day. It is proven that women that breastfeed lose weight more easily than non-nursing mothers.

 

2. Reduced risk of ovarian & breast cancer

Since, there is a drop in estrogen levels during lactation, excess accumulation of which cause ovarian cancer, breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian cancer. Moreover, studies have found that risk of breast cancer in breastfeeding woman may be reduced up to 25% if she breastfeeds her child from 6 to 25 months.

 

3. Health benefits in the long term

Researchers have found that women who breastfeed have lowered risk of Type II Diabetes, heart diseases, and blood pressure. Not only this, there is an increase in bone strength of women who breastfeed, resulting in reduced risk of osteoporosis in later life.

 

Breastfeeding has uncountable benefits, especially the nutrition value it has for the infants. Women should definitely choose to breastfeed their infants since there is no better way for the new-born to bond with the mother.

 

References:

WHO, ’World Breastfeeding Week’, WHO Official Website (accessed on, August 1, 2017)

WABA, websitehttp://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/ (accessed on, August 1, 2017)

 

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. 


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