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One of the important decisions to make when it comes to becoming a mom is whether or not to breastfeed your child. Sure, the breast is best, but you can help but think if it’s worth all the sacrifices. Because let’s admit it, it’s not a walk in the park.
Yes, we are an advocate of breastfeeding, but we also acknowledge the fact there are situations that don’t allow it.
Every situation is unique. If you’re experiencing situations or conditions that force you to forgo breastfeeding, be assured that you’re not a bad mum. We know you’re doing your best for your child.
This article is for those who have a choice but need more convincing. What are the benefits of breastfeeding your infant? And because we know you’d be interested, we also added tips on how you can maximise these benefits.
THE COUNTLESS BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING
We’re not exaggerating when we say it’s too many to mention. In fact, we believe that experts haven’t discovered everything that it can do for mums and babies. But we’ll try enumerating as many as we can just for you.
The benefits of breastfeeding stretch from keeping the baby from getting sick to helping the mom lose weight. That’s right. This includes you.
Deciding to breastfeed means not only saying to all the nutrients your baby will get. It’s also a huge yes to you enjoying a healthier lifestyle.
There is a reason why health sectors all over the world encourage breastfeeding as the optimal choice to provide nutrition to newborns.
Your breast milk provides all the nutrition your baby needs
Breastmilk is a complex substance that contains both nutritional and non-nutritional constituents. It’s everything they need during the first few weeks of your baby. In fact, it can continue to benefit you and your child for up to two years.
It’s Your Baby’s Main Energy source
Among the most important things breastmilk provides for a newborn is an ample amount of energy. It comes from fats, lactose, and oligosaccharides.
As adults, we understand that we need the energy to do anything. It’s the same for babies. Take note that they are still developing. Without these sources of energy, they won’t be able to absorb important nutrients and substances that enable them to grow healthily. As a bonus, lactose is freeing the stomach of bad bacteria, making it easier to absorb calcium, magnesium, and many others.
Developed and Stronger Immune System
Your baby just came out into the world. They’re susceptible to so many kinds of health problems. That’s why we must do what we can to help them develop a strong immune system.
It turns out, the immune system in our bodies requires a lot to keep going. Luckily for us, breastmilk has got that covered.
On top of the proteins, minerals, vitamins, and fats that it provides, it also has antibodies and probiotics that make give protection to your little one. All these are necessary components to make up an immune system capable of fighting off common diseases.
What are the diseases your baby can avoid with the help of breastmilk?
According to UNICEF, diarrhoea is among the leading causes of death in children below 5 years old. Killing 8% of them in 2017, it’s easy for any parents to be alarmed if such thing happens to their little one.
Efforts are being made and thankfully, the number is reducing. Among the preventative measures is something as basic as breastfeeding. Studies have found out that exclusive breastfeeding promotes a healthier stomach in babies.
Other diseases that breastfeeding help prevent are colds, allergies, eczema, digestion problems, urinary tract infections, respiratory conditions, and so many more.
Breastfeeding Promotes Cognitive Development
Many studies have found out that there is a direct correlation between cognitive development and exclusive breastfeeding. Among those studies is a 3-year follow-up published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science.
Based on the data gathered, they’ve concluded that infants breastfed for more than 9 months showed better development in their cognitive functions, which was measured through the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test and Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test. They also found out that continuing to breastfeed a child up to 12 months or more can have positive influences on their cognition up to 3-7 years of age.
Breastfeeding Means Stronger Bond Between You and Your Baby
The first bond they make as they wake into this world is the bond they share with you. Sure, you’ve always been connected since day one, which makes it all the more crucial after the umbilical cord is cut.
There are different ways and reasons to promote bonding with your baby, ranging from emotional to health benefits. But for this article, let’s focus more on what breastfeeding can do to strengthen your bond with each other.
Skin-to-skin contact, which should be done within the first hour after birth, helps produce oxytocin. More commonly known as the love hormone, this one is very important for bonding. Experts have found out that production of this hormone—which happens a lot when the baby is suckling—fires up signals in the brain that makes the mum feel more motherly love. Ever heard of maternal instincts? Experts suspect that the production of this particular hormone plays a great role in it.
Communicating to them through voice
When you are breastfeeding, you’re not only having skin-to-skin contact with your baby. You’re most likely communicating with them as well through your voice. Who doesn’t love talking to a baby, right?
The thing is, your child has a favourite sound in the world even if they’re just days old. They’ve stayed inside your body for around 9 months. They’ve been hearing you talk to them when your happy or sad. They’ve witnessed how you talk to colleagues and family. Yes, their favourite is the sound of your voice.
When you talk to them during breastfeeding, this will make them feel safe and calm. So make sure you do it often!
We just had an extensive list of breastfeeding benefits, from nutritional to health to bonding. I hope that you are all the more encouraged to exclusively breastfeed your baby because that will not only be a good idea for them, it will be great for you too.
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