With “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet” as its theme, the World Breastfeeding Week 2020 aims to foster better feeding skills in women. The government is being encouraged to protect and promote the access of efficient information and advice to make the process as easy as possible. Counseling sessions will actively empower women to sustain breastfeeding and teach them to nourish their children well, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The benefits of breastfeeding a baby are multifold, even when compared to formula feeding. Natural colostrum is high in protein and provides the best nutrition to the newborn in addition to immunity. In fact, breastfeeding is also tied to deep emotional experiences, which could be rewarding for new mothers and help strengthen the mother-child bond.
Benefits of Breast Milk
If you are confused about what could work best for your baby, give breastfeeding a chance. Unless there is a medical reason not to, here’s why it should be your first choice.
- The baby is vulnerable to Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in the first year of birth. Breast milk can significantly reduce the risk of this medical condition.
- Babies who live on their mother’s milk for the first six months of life have much lower risk of infections that could lead to hospitalization. Colostrum which contains white blood cells protects against illnesses.
- Breast fed babies tend to have well-developed cognitive functions, including intelligence, as compared to formula fed infants.
- Allergies, asthma and obesity are some of the conditions that can be prevented with natural mother’s milk.
- There are multiple enzymes present in breast milk, which support and strengthen the immune and digestive systems of the baby.
- One key benefit of breastfeeding for mothers is that it promotes better bonding with the child and creates a sense of emotional attachment immediately.
- There could be fewer incidents of diarrhea and low chances of external infections, like eczema.
- Babies who are breastfed are known to have higher IQ levels, proving breast milk to be the gold standard for food for infants.
A breastfeeding mother need not worry about extra expenses, which usually comes with formula feeding. In fact, it is a healthy and convenient process. A mother consumes several foods throughout the day, which can render different flavors to the milk as well.
Why is it Best to Avoid Formula Feeding?
Often, artificial milk contains a fixed combination of components, which do not cater to the needs of a growing baby. It might also not be well-digested, leading to insufficient caloric intake and stunted development in the initial years.
Breastfeeding a baby involves skin-to-skin contact, which renders a natural warmth and sense of affection. This is extremely crucial to help the child feel loved and secure. A happy baby is the key to a healthy mind and brain functions. But sadly, these cannot be quite achieved with formula feeding.
Breast milk is packed with hundreds of antibodies and nutrients, which commercially prepared milk cannot compensate for. Get in touch with your doctor to understand the diet for breastfeeding mothers. It will keep you energetic and promote overall health for you and your newborn.