The birth of a first child is a wonderful and momentous occasion for every parent, and it comes with several responsibilities. All new mothers have to decide whether to use formula or breastfeed, along with several important decisions about the baby’s name, sleeping place, and routine. It is no exaggeration to say that breast milk is the perfect first food for babies. Not only breastfeeding is beneficial for a baby’s mental and physical development, but it also protects the health of the lactating parent. Still undecided whether or not to breastfeed your little one? Keep reading this blog to learn about the great breastfeeding benefits for the mom and baby.
What is Breast Milk?
Whether you are a parent or not, you have probably heard or read that breast milk is the ideal food for infants. It is not perfectly suited to offer essential nutrients infants need for optimal growth, and development, it is also an excellent source of protection against several illnesses. After giving birth to a child, the first milk a woman’s make is known as colostrum. Breast milk is made up of countless substances including fat, protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, enzymes, water and hormones. The composition of this best form of nutrition is not constant. And, the dynamic nature of this ideal baby food is extremely interesting: the colour, composition, taste and volume can change in response to several factors in both infants and mothers.
Importance of Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding, also called chest feeding or nursing, is when a mother feed her child breast milk, typically direct from the breast. Breastfeeding or chest feeding is important for both mother and her baby. It offers numerous advantages for little ones that cannot be matched any other type of feeding. Research suggest that nursing for a short period of time is also beneficial for an infant.
Some Breastfeeding Benefits for Mother and the little One
As already mentioned before, breastfeeding is beneficial for a child, mother and the bond they share. However, breastfeeding or nursing is a personal decision for a new mother, but it is imperative to grab all the information that is useful to make a well-informed decision on how to feed your little bundle of happiness. There are several benefits for both the lactating parent and baby who choose to breastfeed. In case you decide to breastfeed your baby, you and your little one could reap some amazing health benefits.
Benefits for Babies
Breastmilk carries several live immune cells. That means, breastfeeding offers protection to an infant with a strong immunity dose, thereby strengthening his or her immune system. When an infant is sick, breast milk helps prevent dehydration.
Since breast milk is the best nourishment for babies, it helps them fight off disease and sickness. Breastfeeding for at least two months can help lower the risk of SIDS/ Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Also, children that are breastfed for at least six months or more are less likely to develop conditions such as asthma or food allergies.
It is easy for infants to digest breast milk easily when compared to infant formula. It is because the breast milk contains several enzymes that improves digestion. So, a mother breastfeeds her baby, chances are she or he will experience less constipation and diarrhoea.
Breast milk also provides protection to your child against ear infections, respiratory illnesses and gastrointestinal diseases. Besides, nursing an infant reduces his or her risk of future obesity.
Several scientific research indicates that it can improve a child’s brain and nervous system development.
Benefits for Moms
Breastfeeding can help a mother’s body to recover faster. That’s because breastfeeding reduces the risk of postpartum bleeding, improves iron levels in the body, and helps breastfeeding moms to return to the pre-pregnancy body weight.
Breastfeeding mothers have lower rates of developing certain types of cancers such as ovarian, breast cancer, and osteoporosis in later life.
If a woman develops diabetes during the pregnancy, it is advisable to breastfeed as it can help reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
Breastfeeding help release several hormones in the body that make you feel relaxed thereby helping you have a good night’s sleep.
Last but certainly not least breast milk is free of cost! Breastfeeding moms never run out of breast milk as their bodies respond to their child’s needs. That means mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies can save a big amount in the long run.
The bottom line
On the whole, breast milk is the best form of nutrition for babies, due to the amazing health benefits described in this blog. Even though breastfeeding or chest feeding can be pretty challenging for all new moms during the first few days to weeks after the child’s birth, it can also be a great experience for both the breastfeeding mom and the little one.