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Breastfeeding For Mom and Baby
Breastfeeding is the act of a mom feeding their baby with breast milk, either directly from their breasts or with a bottle. It is also called nursing. Even though breastfeeding is a natural process and is strongly recommended by experts, some mothers might struggle with it. Remember, deciding to breastfeed your baby is a personal matter. If you are wondering what the benefits of breastfeeding are, read on for the benefits of breastfeeding for baby, mom and both of them!
Benefits For The Baby
1. Ideal Nutrition
Breast milk is the ideal nutrition for your baby. They contain the perfect components of vitamins, enzymes, protein and more that are easily digested and absorbed by the baby. The best thing is, the components change according to the baby’s needs and growth. Your body will produce the right amount of milk for the baby as they grow and from their demands.
2. Perfect Antibodies Provider
The mom’s mature immune system will produce antibodies that get passed into their breast milk to their baby. These antibodies will form the baby’s immunity and protect the baby from diseases. This is vital especially in the first few months of the baby’s life. Due to that, breastfed baby’s have a lower risk of contracting type 1 diabetes, obesity (breast milk helps to control the baby’s weight) and preventing SIDS i.e Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
3. Reducing Risk of Diseases
As mentioned above, the antibodies give the baby’s immunity a sword and armour that help the baby to fight off viruses and bacteria. Breastfed babies’ are reported to have lower risk of respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, asthma and whooping cough. Other than that, they also have lower risks of digestive problems such as gastroesophageal reflux, gastric, constipation and diarrhoea. They are also reported to have lower risks of ear infections that could damage their hearing.
4. Making Physical Transition Easier
After 9 months in the womb, breastfeeding can help to aid the baby’s transition to this world easier. The various positions for breastfeeding such as cradling, lying side by side with the baby or football hold ensure that your baby can hear your heartbeat – their favourite sound. The warmth of your skin coupled with the sound of your heartbeat is the perfect bridge to introduce your baby to an unknown and new world.
Benefits For The Mom
1. A Natural Mood Booster
When breastfeeding, your body will naturally produce the hormones oxytocin – also known as the love hormone and prolactin that promotes milk production and causes lactation. Oxytocin will help moms feel more relaxed which will reduce stress and induce positive feelings in the mom. Having gone through labour and having to care for a new baby is a lot of work. Hence, this will definitely help you moms!
2. A Convenient and Nutritious Meal
With all the work that one has to do – be it running a household or a career or both, preparing milk for your baby can be a lot of work. Having to keep the bottles clean, milk at the perfect temperature and not to mention having to prepare everything before you leave home – it’s a lot! With the baby crying and hungry, time is of the essence. Breastfeeding is convenient and you definitely know that your baby will be well fed and supplied with the best nutrition.
3. Helps Save Money And Time
Travelling with a little one is no joke. It takes a full business day to prepare sometimes! The extra expenses that come with a new little one can add stress to new parents too. However, when you breastfeed, you can save money on baby formulas. It’s the same when preparing to leave the house, all you need is you, mama and the baby. Less spending on money and time.
4. Aids in Mom’s Recovery
When making milk for your baby, you burn calories. This will help you to burn the extra weight you’ve gained during pregnancy. It is important to note that mothers’ should not be expected to “bounce back” or “return back” to their original weight, but it is your health that matters. Breastfeeding also helps to contract your uterus which has expanded during pregnancy. Furthermore, it has been hypothesised that breastfeeding can help lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It also pauses menstruation so you won’t have to deal with the pain and mess. It is your body’s way to reset and recuperate.
For Both Mom and Baby
The various positions of breastfeeding help you bond with your baby more. It increases skin-to-skin which has been proven to positively impact your relationship with your baby. The frequent eye contact, stroking and cuddling are ways in which your baby will understand your affections. Certain studies have shown that these will help reduce social and behavioural issues further in your child’s life. You will also understand your baby’s cues more to figure out their wants and needs. This will enable your baby to trust their caregivers.
There is definitely an abundance of advantages to breastfeeding for both mom and baby. However, as mentioned previously, breastfeeding is a personal matter and choice. Talk to your partner, doctors, consultant and other peers to understand more about breastfeeding – including its challenges and the best way to tackle them so you are well prepared and well informed.