While the decision to breastfeed or not to is a personal one, however, it is known to have a number of benefits for both the baby and the mother. Ideally, a newborn baby should be fed only mother’s milk for the first six months of his or her life. This not only provides a nutritious diet for the infant, but it can also protect the baby from a number of diseases that could affect them now and in the years to come.
Here are a few reasons a mother should breastfeed her baby
- Well balanced nutrition: Mother’s milk is better than any form of infant formula. This is because it contains the perfect mix of vitamins, proteins and fats essential for your baby’s growth. Also, these nutrients are made available to the baby is easy to digest form which increases the amount of nutrition absorbed by the baby’s body. By breastfeeding a baby, the chances of them being overweight in their later years is also reduced.
- Immunity booster: Along with nutrients breast milk is also rich in antibodies that protect your baby against viral and bacterial infections. Breastfeeding a baby reduces their risk of suffering from asthma and other allergies in future and also reduces the frequency of ear infections, respiratory diseases and diarrhea.
- Better bonding: When a baby is being breastfed it is held close to the mother’s body and skin to skin contact is established. This benefits both the baby and the mother and helps build a strong bond between them. For the baby, this skin to skin contact builds a sense of security and for the mother, breastfeeding the baby can help deal with postpartum depression and make her feel connected to the baby.
- Helps the mother recover: Breastfeeding helps the mother get her body back to its pre-pregnancy condition faster. This is because breastfeeding burns calories and hence helps the mother lose pregnancy weight faster. It also triggers the release of hormones such as oxytocin which reduce uterine bleeding after delivery and help the uterus get back to its original size.
When breastfeeding a baby it is important to recognize when the baby is hungry and feed him or her before they start crying. Typically an infant should feed on each breast for 10-20 minutes at a stretch. It is also important to be patient and comfortable while breastfeeding so as to allow milk to flow evenly and to prevent fatigue.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!