Breastfeeding: Plays Crucial Role in Child Development

Breastfeeding is most important part of baby as well as mother. This is best way of giving nutrients to new-born baby for their growths and development.  Almost every mother can breast feed and produce enough milk. Mother should start breast feeding in one hour after delivery and continued till 6 months.

Breastfeeding Importance:

For Mother:

· The hormone oxytocin, released during breastfeeding, acts to return the uterus to its regular size more quickly and can reduce postpartum bleeding

· Can help women to lose weight after  baby’s birth

· Reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and pre-menopausal breast cancer

· Reduces the risk of osteoporosis

· Reduces the risk of mothers with gestational diabetes developing Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

· The mother feel peaceful and relaxed while breastfeeding.

· Breastfeed recover from childbirth more quickly and easily.

· Exclusive breastfeeding delays the return of the mother’s menstrual period, which can help extend the time between pregnancies. (Exclusive breastfeeding can provide a natural form of contraception if the mother’s menses have not returned, the baby is breastfeeding day and night, and the baby is less than six months old.)

For Baby:

· Breastfeeding increases a baby’s immunity to health illness like gastro-intestinal (gut) illness, allergies, asthma, diabetes, obesity, some childhood cancers, respiratory tract (chest) infections, urinary tract infections, SIDS (cot death).

· Breast milk is a rich in nutrients, vitamins and proteins that is essential for a child's health and development and not even laboratory formula based milk can replace Breast Milk.

· Baby feeding with Breast milk are rarely constipated and have less risk of diarrhoea because it is more easily digested than infant formula.

Why breastfeeding should be initiated early:

World Breastfeeding Week is supported by a number of global and national organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), promoting awareness about the importance of breastfeeding soon after birth because mother first milk, colostrum is healthy food for new born baby and protects from many health problem like malnutrition.
“A 2006 study published in the journal Pediatrics suggested that 41 per cent of new-borns that die in the first month of life could be saved if breastfed in the first hour of life.”

The WHO also says feeding colostrum in the first hour increases the likelihood babies will continue to be breastfed which gives them a head start in the "race against malnutrition". There are 170 million underweight children in the world and 3 million of them die every year.

What is colostrum?

Colostrum is a sticky yellow-white substance yielded by the mother's breast soon after birth. It is rich in antibodies and essential nutrients. Yet, in many cultures, ignorant of its health benefits, the custom is to throw it away. Giving new-borns water or other liquids denies them a "good start in life" says the WHO, referring to the WHO Child Growth Standards and how babies fed colostrum within the first hour of being born measure up well against the standards.

Misconception about breast feeding:

1. The breastfeeding mother has to change their eating habits:

As facts is that there is no need to change the eating habits and no need to follow any type of diet. Mother can eat whatever she like but keep in her minds that eat variety of nutritious foods. Breast milk is good even after eating spicy food.

2. Mother shouldn’t breast feed her baby in illness:

Facts is that If mother is sick, baby  is already in contact with mother illness so to protect baby mother should have to feed baby because mother's milk will have antibodies to protect the baby.  If baby does get sick, the illness is likely to be less severe.  Mothers can breastfeed in cold or flu.  Mothers should not breastfeed if they have HIV, active untreated tuberculosis, or HTLV‑1

3. Breastfeeding mothers cannot drink alcohol.

Facts is that Breastfeeding mothers can drink alcohol occasionally but not breast feed after more than two drinks

4. Breastfeeding makes the breasts sag.

Many Mother fears of breast sagging, they don’t know breastfeeding don’t change breast. There is other reason behind changing of breast size and shape. Some reasons are: Pregnancy, heredity, and aging cause the breasts to sag,.

5. Breast is not having milk until third day after

Facts is that Milk is already in the breasts when the baby is born even many health organisation suggest and promote that breast feed a baby in one hour after delivery the first milk is called colostrum (see the next myth).  Colostrum is measured in teaspoons, not ounces.  The breasts are soft in the first few days after delivery so the baby can learn how to breastfeed.

6. Breastfed babies need water bottles.

No, breastfed babies don’t need water bottles. Breast milk is about 87% of water

7. Breastfeeding is Makes mother tired and weak.

Fact is that mother rest while breastfeeding her baby. The breastfeeding hormones make the mother feel peaceful and relaxed.

“Breastfeeding is gift that keeps on giving”

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