- Breastfed children are at reduced risk of diabetes and obesity
- Breastfeeding provides antibodies to baby for fighting virus or bacteria
- It reduces risk of diarrhoea and infection
World Breastfeeding Week ends today. The occasion was aimed at raising awareness about breastfeeding and the health benefits it has on the mother and the baby. Breastfeeding is an important step towards developing mother-child bonding. It helps the baby get proper nutrition for optimum growth. According to the American Academy of Paediatrics and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, newborns should be breastfed exclusively for the 6 months. Thereafter, breastfeeding is recommended for another year along with foods like vegetables, fruits, grains and proteins. Breastmilk provides ideal nutrition for infants and has nearly the prefect blend of vitamins, proteins and fat for the baby. These nutrients are all that your baby needs to grow and stay healthy.
Breastfeeding Week 2019: Why is mother's milk important for the baby?
1. "Breastmilk is highly recommended for your newborn. It provides complete nutrition to the baby, and can be even beneficial for premature babies," says Dr. Vishnuvardhan Reddy.
2. Benefits of breastfeeding includes preventing diseases. Breastmilk can provide antibodies that can help the baby fight viruses and bacteria.
3. Breastfeeding babies for the first six months and then for a year after that can reduce the baby's risk of developing asthma or allergies.
4. According to WebMD, babies who are fed breastmilk without any formula-exclusively for the first six months-tend to have fewer respiratory illness, diarrhoea and infections. In fact, they will also have fewer hospitalisation and trips to the doctor.
5. Studies say that breastfed children tend to have higher IQ scores in later childhood.
6. Breastfeeding plays an important role in mother-child bonding. It facilitates physical closeness, touching and eye contact help the baby bond with the mother and feel safe and secure.
7. Breastfeeding enables children to gain the right amount of weight and grow rather than become overweight or underweight.
8. Breastfed children are also at lower risk of obesity and diabetes. This, however, is also dependent on the kind of lifestyle they grow up and continue with.
Breastfeeding benefits for the mother
1. Yes, breastfeeding has multiple benefits for the mother as well. Firstly, it helps you burn calories and enables you to lose some pregnancy weight. Weight loss post pregnancy cannot be achieved without exercising and a proper diet.
2. Breastfeeding releases hormones oxytocin, which helps the uterus to get back to its pre-pregnancy size. Breastfeeding also reduces uterine bleeding after birth.
Even if you are not able to breastfeed for complete six months, you can try it for as much as you can. It will benefit you and your baby in every possible way.
Happy World Breastfeeding week, everyone!
(Dr. Vishnuvardhan Reddy, MBBS, DNB, Neonatology and Paediatrics, Apollo Cradle, Hyderabad.)
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. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.