Breastfeeding involves the feeding of the infant or a baby with milk from the breasts. Babies have a natural sucking reflex, and this enables the babies to suckle and swallow. Breast milk is considered to be the healthiest form of nutrition for the baby, unless the mother is taking medication or is suffering from tuberculosis, HIV or any other communicable disease. Breastfeeding is beneficial for both the mother and child. The baby can be breast fed for six months to a year or more.
Breastfeeding, in general, enhances...
...the health of the baby and reduces healthcare costs.
The Breastfeeding benefits to mothers as well as the breastfeeding benefits to the baby have been well researched and documented. Breastfeeding is highly beneficial to the mother for many reasons. Breastfeeding will delay the return of fertility, through lactational amenorrhea, although it is not a very effective birth control method. Breastfeeding also releases beneficial hormones that can enhance the bond between the mother and the child. Support from the father and family members improves paternal and familial bonding. Breastfeeding releases oxytocin and prolactin that relax the mother and make her more confident about nurturing the child. It also helps in reducing bleeding. Fat that is accumulated during pregnancy to provide for the milk can be lost by extended breastfeeding. It is therefore an effective way to get back into shape quickly. The other benefits of breast feeding include a lesser risk of breast and ovarian cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, reduced risk of post-partum bleeding. It also reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
There is also a long list of the benefits of the benefits of breast milk. Exclusively breastfed babies have fewer risks of many diseases and medical conditions. It protects them from middle ear infections and lessens their chances of getting diarrhea, upper respiratory tract, and urinary tract infections. Breast fed babies are also less susceptible to allergic diseases. In addition, breast feeding for babies is often related to a higher intelligence quotient. Studies have found that breastfeeding has long-term benefits in the child’s cognitive development. Breastfeeding can be beneficial to babies by reducing their chances of becoming obese and having different growth rates and patterns.
Breast milk is made from the nutrients drawn from the mother’s blood stream and bodily stores. Breast milk contains the right amount of sugar, fat, protein, and water that is needed for the baby. The milk is adapted to the growing needs of the baby and satisfies the specific needs for the baby’s overall development. This means that it changes along with the baby’s age.