Breastfeeding is the only reliable way of feeding a newborn child. External food is added to the child’s diet when he is 6 months old. Breastfeeding continues at least for 2 years. Mothers decide to wean when the child learns how to eat solid food.
Have you ever thought about why every health organization suggests breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months? What does make breast milk a better food than formula milk? These questions may come to your mind if you are planning to wean within 12 months of delivery.
You should check some benefits of breastfeeding before making any decision. This information will give you several unknown facts about breastfeeding. So, let’s find out:
How Does Breastfeeding Benefit The Baby?
Breastfeeding offers the following benefits to your child:
Meets his nutritional needs
Breast milk is a potent source of nutrients, which include protein, vitamins, amino acids, fats, carbohydrates, etc. It provides essential proteins and vitamins in the right quantity to aid in the rapid development of the baby.
Breast milk composition changes with the growing needs of the infant. It gets more nutritious and necessary for your child. Therefore, you should never think about depriving the infant of breast milk. Feed him on demand to ensure he is receiving a regular dose of nutrients.
It keeps the child healthy
Do you want to reduce the amount of money you spend on your child’s health and treatment? Continue breastfeeding as long as possible. Breast milk protects your child against diarrhea, infection, otitis media, allergic reactions, and other diseases.
The mother should breastfeed the baby as soon as possible after the delivery. New mothers first feed colostrum to the baby. It is rich in nutrients and antibodies that strengthen the child’s immune system.
Colostrum turns into traditional milk and then mature milk within the first 15 days. All these forms of breast milk make the breastfed child healthier, stronger, and more intelligent.
It reduces the risk of SIDS and NEC
SIDS stands for sudden infant death syndrome and NEC stands for necrotizing enterocolitis. Breastfeeding effectively reduces the risks of both situations. Breast milk has a high concentration of fatty acids. The child can easily absorb it along with calcium and phosphorus in the right ratio.
Breast milk supplies sugar in the form of lactose. It increases calcium absorption in the child’s body and reduces the risks associated with some severe health conditions.
It keeps your baby fit
Your baby will be happy if he is fit and comfortable. He does not need any supplement to maintain good health. Breastfeeding is enough to avoid asthma, allergic diseases, eczema, and other skin issues.
Breast milk is essential for the baby’s growth. It prevents hypertension, obesity, and health problems such as diabetes. The chances of developing cardiovascular diseases will be almost zero if you breastfeed the baby daily.
Breastfeeding is necessary for the complete development of the child
Breastfeeding is extremely important for the complete development of the child. Breast milk provides nutrients for the proper physical and psychological development of the child. It makes your child intelligent and proactive. The effects can be seen when the baby is 4-6 months old. Breast milk is rich in aminotaurine and cysteine, which are important for brain development.
Breastfed babies look physically strong and pretty smart. They start observing the surrounding environment from an early age. They recognize people quickly and therefore get more playful with certain people.
Every breastfed baby recognizes the mother from the day he is born. Breastfeeding keeps the children closer to the mother. A unique bond is formed when you nurse the baby and that lasts forever.
How Breastfeeding Is Beneficial For The Mother?
Breastfeeding benefits the new mum in three ways, which are as follows:
Physiological benefits of breastfeeding
Quick uterine recovery: Constant breast sucking stimulates the pituitary gland to discharge the oxytocin hormone. It is responsible for increasing milk production in the mammary glands and also for contracting the uterine. Breastfeeding mothers do not face the risk of postpartum hemorrhage. The uterine recovery process speeds up as the mother starts breastfeeding.
It prevents iron loss: Breastfeeding mothers maintain ideal iron levels to maintain the required milk supply for the child. It prevents iron loss in blood during menstruation and keeps the mother healthy.
Breastfeeding works as natural contraception: You will not need contraception pills if you are a breastfeeding mother. This activity allows the mother to preserve more iron. Breastfeeding moms experience delayed menstruation because this activity works as natural contraception.
You can maintain the ideal gap between pregnancies to get recovered completely and take better care of the child. New mothers experience contraceptive success up to 99% for the first six months after the child’s birth.
The psychological benefit of breastfeeding for the mother
Breastfeeding mothers often stay calm and relaxed. The feeding activity triggers the release of some hormones that keep the mother calm and humble. Decide to breastfeed the child if you want to feel that calmness after delivery.
Long-term perks of breastfeeding for the mother
Most breastfeeding mothers look fitter and healthier than formula-feeding mothers. It boosts your metabolism, reduces the risks of ovarian and breast cancer, and you experience some great psychological benefits. The long-term breastfeeding benefits include the following:
Weight loss: Are you worried because you have gained a lot of weight during pregnancy? It should not trouble you if you decide to breastfeed the baby. A nursing mother needs 200-500 calories each day to produce milk for the child. Those calories come from fat accumulated in the body. Thus, breastfeeding speeds up postpartum weight loss.
It speeds up the gestational diabetes recovery process: Millions of women suffer from gestational diabetes problem after delivery. Breastfeeding helps in quick recovery in such situations. It not only aids in curing gestational diabetes but also cures the symptoms of subsequent diabetes.
Breastfeeding lowers the risk of osteoporosis: Breastfeeding makes your bones stronger. You may lose some bone mass during pregnancy. It recovers way faster and your bones become quite stronger after 6 months of delivery. You have to breastfeed to ensure bone recovery otherwise you can’t experience the same physical benefit.
What Are Potential Disadvantages Of Breastfeeding?
Can breastfeeding cause harm to the mother or the child? Yes, it poses certain health risks in certain conditions.
The risk of disease transmission
Breastfeeding can be risky for the baby when the mother has health conditions, such as AIDS and hepatitis. Avoid feeding the child if you are undergoing chemotherapy.
Anti-epileptic drugs can also be harmful to the child. Certain drugs can pass into the child’s body through breast milk. Therefore, you have to avoid breastfeeding if you have any of the mentioned health conditions.
The mother can’t drink caffeinated drinks
Doctors do not allow nursing mums to drink excess tea or coffee. Even if you have rejoined the work, you will have to avoid coffee, tea, and other beverages. These beverages can turn breast milk harmful to the child. The infant may experience health issues if this warning is ignored.
Breastfeeding can be painful
Breastfeeding can be a painful experience for some women. You need to learn the right breastfeeding posture to reduce the pain. It will be a daunting task if it’s your first attempt to feed the baby. That pain eases as you feed more, but initially, you will experience some pain.
Nursing mothers do not get enough time to do what they want. You have to be around the child 24-7 to keep him comfortable. The newborn baby only recognizes his mother. He will cry when he is wet or feeling hungry. It can severely affect the child’s mood and his health if you don’t feed on demand.
Is It Necessary to Breastfeed After 6 Months?
Newborn babies are not fed external milk or other foods because they can’t digest these foods properly. Babies are more than capable of digesting certain foods after six months. They can drink water, eat complimentary meals, and gain nutrients from formula milk. Does it mean you should stop breastfeeding after 6 months of delivery?
No! You should not stop breastfeeding the baby after 6 months! Your child might be ready to consume external foods, but breast milk is the main source of nutrients. He needs breast milk in the first two years of his life to grow stronger and get smarter.
You can think about weaning when the child is 1-year old. Make it a slow change so that your child can easily adapt to new diets. Feed him different kinds of foods along with breast milk. He will still need vital nutrients from breast milk to be a healthy and smart guy.
Breastfeeding is completely safe and advantageous for the child and the mom if both are healthy. It does not pose any health risks and provides many perks in the form of better health. Therefore, every mother should breastfeed the baby on demand. The child will stay calm, healthy, and pretty active if you breastfeed on time!