Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Babies And Mums
On this Page:
- Breastfeeding For A Few Days
- Breastfeeding For 4-6 Weeks
- Breastfeeding For 3-4 Months
- Breastfeeding Until 6 Months
- Benefits Of Breastfeeding
- Benefits For Mum
So what are the benefits of breastfeeding? In this article we take a look at all the advantages of breastfeeding for both mum and baby.
One of the purest forms of food that nature has created for babies is breast milk. It is unadulterated, natural and very easy to digest for a newborn. In fact, all mothers should breastfeed their babies without fail (where possible).
The Australian Infant Feeding Guideline recommends all mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies until six months of age and continue after that with solid supplements till 12 months of age. Once the baby is one year old, mum can continue feeding the child until 2 years, if both the mother and the child desires.
Though the United Nations and Australian Infant feeding guidelines specify the time duration for breastfeeding, it is completely left to the discretion of the mother. Even if the baby has been fed only for a few days, it still has its benefits.
The following is a guideline to the benefits of breastfeeding with the time duration of feeding.
Breastfeeding For A Few Days
If you have breastfed your baby only for a few days, they will have received their first dose of immunization, namely “colostrum.” Colostrum is the yellow discharge that first oozes out of the breast before milk starts secreting.
Feeding colostrum to your baby assists with the digestive system working smoothly and builds a strong base for feeding. In addition, it contains the necessary antibodies that protect your baby from various bacteria and viruses.
Breastfeeding For 4-6 Weeks
One of the other advantages of breastfeeding is that babies who are breastfed for 4-6 weeks are less likely to fall sick and get hospitalized.
A mother’s body also gets adjusted to breastfeeding, and the process becomes more natural for both the mother and the baby.
Breastfeeding For 3-4 Months
Once you breastfeed your baby for 3-4 months, your baby's digestive system will have matured a great deal. Another advantage of breastfeeding is that it helps to protect your baby from a lot of infections if you can feed him/her for so long.
Breastfeeding Until 6 Months
If you have exclusively breastfed your baby for six months, you have strictly followed the Australian Infant Feeding Guideline.
Now your baby will be protected from a host of childhood diseases like ear infections, respiratory infections, and bouts of diarrhoea. It provides effective contraception for you and helps you to recover from post-natal changes.
Once your baby is six months of age, you should start to introduce solid food along with breast milk. Introducing solid food ensures that all the dietary requirements of the growing baby are met. It also helps in the proper jaw and motor skill development.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
The advantages of breastfeeding don't stop here. Breastfeeding not only provides enough nutrition to the baby during infancy but can provide benefits to the child in the years to come.
- Some studies have shown that children who are exclusively breastfed during their infancy have a higher IQ than kids who are not exclusively breastfed.
- Breastfeeding helps to build a strong bond between the mother and the child which lasts for years
- Breastfed children gain the right amount of weight as they grow and are less likely to become overweight
That’s not all, there are some great benefits for mums too!
- Through breastfeeding, the mother can burn extra calories and shed her pregnancy weight faster.
- Breastfeeding releases the hormone Oxytocin (the hormone of love!) which helps in shrinking the uterus to the pre-pregnancy size.
- It reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
- Breastfeeding is easy as it does not require a bottle or sterilizing. So, you can feed your baby anytime, anywhere.
Though the benefits of breastfeeding are known to all, some mothers are not able to continue feeding for long periods because of various reasons. Sometimes they become preoccupied with their work and may not get the time to feed the baby. For some, health issues can stand in their way of feeding the baby.
Various breastfeeding products are available in the market to pump breast milk and store it safely. One such product is the ThermoSensor Breast Milk Storage Bags.
These storage bags not only let you store the milk in a 100% BPA free environment but also has a color change key that tells you when the breastmilk is at the right temperature. Thus, it becomes easy to feed your child. Each bag is pre-sterilized and leak proof which ensures safe storage. Moreover, the bags are reusable thus making it environment-friendly as well.
For further information, you can visit health.gov.au
The benefits of feeding your child are multifold. It is your responsibility as a mother to ensure that your bundle of joy gets the purest of pure food from nature.