Why is Breastfeeding important for you and your child?

Why is Breastfeeding important for you and your child? Breastfeeding is the normal way of feeding young babies with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. World Breastfeeding Week is observed every year from 1 to 7 August to promote breastfeeding and develop the health of babies around the world.

Breast milk is the best milk for your baby. The first six months of the baby’s life are vital, and it is essential to feed them breast milk, as it not only provides nutrients, but also protects them against several diseases. Moreover, breastfeeding is beneficial for mothers as well.

Health benefits of breastfeeding for the baby:

  • Breast milk contains all necessary nutrients such as vitamins, proteins, and antibiotics that help to protect the baby from illnesses such as colds, chest infections, ear infections, diarrhea, and vomiting. Moreover, breast milk lowers the risk of allergies.
  • It reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS), also known as Cot death.
  • Breast milk also lowers the risk of numerous diseases such as asthma, eczema, and childhood leukemia. Moreover, breastfed babies are less likely to become obese or develop diabetes as adults.
  • Breastfed infants tend to have higher IQs due to healthy brain development.
  • Breastfeeding helps the proper development of the baby’s jaw and teeth.
  • Breastfeeding promotes mother-baby attachment.

Health benefits of breastfeeding for the mom:

  • Breastfeeding mothers are less likely to develop Ovarian and Breast Cancer.
  • Breastfeeding lowers the risk of Osteoporosis.
  • Mothers who breastfeed lose weight quickly as breastfeeding burns extra calories.

Mothers are skilled multi-taskers. Taking care of a baby is a 24 hour a day job. Breastfeeding is a big commitment for moms, and they may feel exhausted. Feeding a baby is a tough job at the beginning for both mom and baby, and hence, moms need support.

There are few great ways to help breastfeeding moms

Help her at Work

Allow her flexible working hours. Share her work-load among colleagues. If you work in an office with a breastfeeding mom, arrange a private space for her to pump milk. Provide working moms some free time and a separate area, apart from the bathroom, to breastfeed at work.

Help her at Home

Her husband or a parent can share her work-load, like changing diapers and taking care of the baby. They can be very helpful and supportive, allowing her to de-stress and relax. Moreover, night time can be very lonely and tiring for a mother, managing the baby on her own. Her family can help her and be a part of this night duty.

Give her a break

Whenever a baby starts crying, it is automatically given to a nursing mother assuming that it is hungry. The baby may not always be hungry. Try other soothing methods to calm the baby, before passing the baby to it’s mother. Give the mom a break.

Breastfeeding anytime and anywhere

Mothers may feel uncomfortable to breastfeed in public. Moms have the right to feed their baby anytime and anywhere when the baby is hungry. Some laws protect breastfeeding mothers. If you find it hard to breastfeed in public, here are a few tips,

  • Do it confidentially and naturally
  • Try to cover yourself
  • Wear breastfeeding clothes
  • Look out for a quiet nursing spot
  • Know your nursing rights

Breastfeeding is not a choice, it’s a responsibility!