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The only food a newborn baby can eat and digest comfortably is milk. There are some good options in milk, but breast milk is the best to ensure the good health of the child. Being nutrient-rich, breast milk offers everything your baby needs to stay fit and healthy.
The WHO and all the health experts recommend new mothers breastfeed. Is breastfeeding only beneficial for the child? Does the mother also experience positive health changes after breastfeeding? Continue reading to find some rarely known facts about breastfeeding.
What Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding?
Yes, it is beneficial for both the mom and the child. Let’s find out why:
Benefits for the mother:
It strengthens the bond between the mother and the child
Everybody is a stranger to a newborn baby. The baby starts feeling safe with the mother because of breastfeeding. He quickly learns who provides food and who is around all the time. Skin-to-skin touch, feeding, and constant care ensure the child that nothing to worry about when the mother is around.
Quick postpartum recovery
Breastfeeding helps in contraction. Oxytocin’s secretion begins in the mother’s body due to breastfeeding. It is quite vital for postpartum uterine contraction. The mother recovers faster and the chances of postpartum hemorrhage also reduce due to breastfeeding.
Postpartum weight loss
Breastfeeding mothers lose excess weight much faster than women who do not breastfeed. You may have gained several pounds of extra weight during the pregnancy period. Breastfeeding allows you to lose many calories without working hard in the gym. Just feed the baby and that would be enough to regain the natural shape of your body.
Breastfeeding also reduces the risks of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and type-2 diabetes. Therefore, it is quite beneficial for the mother.
Benefits for the child
The following benefits make breast milk the best food for a baby:
- A newborn baby needs a steady supply of nutrients during the early phase of his life. Breast milk provides all the vital nutrients, including minerals, fat, protein, lactose, vitamins, etc.
- Breast milk boosts the child’s immunity. Mothers should breastfeed the baby after 2 hours of birth. The first milk contains colostrums, which deliver antibodies to fight infection and diseases.
- Breast milk provides the child with the α-whey protein. It speeds up the conversion of bifido factors into bifidobacteria. These bacteria improve the child’s intestinal health.
- Breastfeeding is also quite important for the better development of the brain and better vision. Breast milk provides DHA, AA, Taurine, and other vital elements for the complete development of the child.
- Breastfeeding babies always stay healthy and they quickly recover if suffer from a disease. Therefore, breastfeeding is quite essential for every newborn child!
Why Breastfeeding Is Better Than Formula Feeding?
Many parents choose to feed formula milk to the newborn baby. They prefer it even if the mother is healthy. Breastfeeding should be the only way of nourishing a baby until he is 6 months old. Formula milk is also a healthy alternative, but you should feed it only when the mother can’t breastfeed! The following reasons make breastfeeding better than formula feeding:
Breast milk has the best protein to casein ratio
Breast milk provides the best protein to casein ratio for the good health of the child. It boosts metabolic function. The baby gets essential amino acids and breastfeeding also prevents the accumulation of tyrosine and phenylalanine.
Better brain development
Formula milk-fed children do not get cysteine and aminotaurine, which are essential for brain development. Breast milk provides these amino acids to make the child smarter.
Breast milk is easy to digest
Breastfed babies rarely experience diarrhea. It is easy to digest and the baby can easily absorb all the nutrients from breast milk. It is rich in unsaturated amino acids and has a perfect ratio of calcium and phosphorus. Formula milk may not offer nutrients in such a perfect ratio!
Strong immune system
Formula-fed babies can fall sick easily. They do not get colostrums, which is produced in mammary glands after the child’s birth. Colostrum supplies essential antibodies to fight diseases and keep the child healthy. Breastfed babies get nutrients that strengthen their immune system. The baby stays healthy most of the time if fed breast milk regularly.
How Long Mothers Should Breastfeed the Baby?
The World Health Organization recommends only breastfeeding for the first six months. Parents can add water and baby formula to the baby’s diet after six months. Some parents think breastfeeding is not necessary after 6 months. The child can rely on external milk and complimentary meals after this age. That’s not true and you should not do it with your baby.
Breastfeed the baby until he is 2 years old
Mothers must breastfeed the baby until he is 2 years old. You can add new foods to the baby’s diet after 6 months. However, breast milk should be the main source of food until the child is 2 years old.
Make the dietary changes gradually. Do not force your baby to switch to other foods suddenly. His body may not accept sudden changes and the child may fall sick. You should first add formula milk to his diet, then formula milk, and then solid foods. That’s how you should change your baby’s diet.
Why you must add external foods to the baby’s diet after 10 months?
Breast milk is quite nutritious for the child for the first 6 months. It loses its ability to strengthen the child’s immune system after 6 months. Your baby’s nutritional needs increase as he grows. Therefore, breast milk alone cannot provide the necessary nutrients to keep the child healthy and strong.
Parents should choose immunity booster foods for the baby. Feed him nutrient-rich foods which your child can easily digest. Keep observing his urination and stool patterns to ensure he is digesting new foods. Thus, there won’t be any risk of diarrhea or other gestational diseases.
What Precautions You Must Take While Breastfeeding?
Regular breastfeeding is vital for the good growth of the child. Nothing can replace breast milk for the first 6 months. Babies face no issues in digesting breast milk and they absorb most nutrients through it.
You already know the benefits and why formula milk is not as good as breast milk. Now, it’s time to learn some breastfeeding precautions. Pay attention to the following things while breastfeeding:
- You should not switch the breast until there is milk left.
- The baby will slow down his breastfeeding speed when there is no more milk. Now, gently take the nipple out of the baby’s mouth and feed him from the other side.
- Do not let the baby fall asleep right after feeding milk. Hold him in an upright position and pat him on his back. The baby will expel the gases he consumed while feeding. Wait for the burp and then let your baby sleep.
- Not all babies are hungry enough to empty the milk from both breasts. You should notice when the child stops sucking milk and then stop breastfeeding.
- Do not fall asleep while breastfeeding, especially when feeding the child in the laid-back position or side-lying position. Ensure his nose is not touching your skin so that the child can breathe easily.
How to Breastfeed Safely?
Mothers treat their newborn babies quite carefully. They always avoid accidents and injuries to keep the baby safe all the time. However, some unintentional breastfeeding mistakes can cause serious troubles! Take care of the following things to breastfeed the baby safely:
Breastfeeding mothers should pay special attention to hygiene. Maintain a clean environment in the house. Clean yourself regularly to keep the child healthy. Use a wet cloth to clean the breasts after feeding the baby. Thus, there will be no germs during the next feeding time.
Maintain a correct breastfeeding posture
There are many breastfeeding positions to try. Choose a posture that comforts you and the child and maintain it properly. Make sure your baby’s upper and lower body is perfectly positioned to avoid cramps and other issues.
Feed on demand
There is no schedule to follow. Feed the baby whenever he demands the milk. On-demand feeding is the best way of nourishing a child. On-time feeding can starve your child. Avoid it as long as possible.
Feed complimentary foods when the child is 6 months old
Your baby will need complementary meals once he is 6 months old. Choose nutrient-rich meals to feed the baby. Add baby formula, water, and mushy meals to his diet to keep him strong and healthy.
New mothers often seem worried about breastfeeding and its impact on their health. It is completely safe and quite beneficial. Both mom and the child benefit from this process.
It will be quite unkind to deprive the child of breastfeeding. Breast milk is necessary for the child’s better health and quick recovery of the mother. Take care of the precautions shared in this post and feed the child daily. You will feel healthier, stronger and your baby will grow stronger.