Since time immemorial, mothers have been nursing their babies. Hence, it's ironical that in the present times, breastfeeding has become a hot topic for debate. Breastfeeding is the fundamental right of every newborn. While many mothers think that breastfeeding may diminish the beauty of their breasts and thus their body, little do they know about the immense benefits it gives to their newborns.
Listed below are the benefits of breastfeeding aimed at encouraging young mothers to understand its importance:
1. One of the foremost remarkable benefits of mother breastfeeding their babies is that it helps develop a special affinity between a mother and a child.
2. Colostrum or the first milk produced by the body for the baby is full of immunologists and antibodies that provide protection to the newborns when exposed to the world of bacteria and viruses.
Colostrum also works as a natural laxative for the newborns that helps them to excrete meconium (first stool of the newborn). It acts like the first vaccination for the child that creates a room for better health for them.
3. Breast milk is a complete food for infants; it consists of all the essential vitamins and nutrients that support the growth of newborns.
4. It offers a strong immune system to newborns and protects them from:
- infections like E. coli and ear infections
- illnesses like lower respiratory diseases and stomach viruses
- eczema and other allergies.
5. Breastfed children are also less likely to suffer from obesity which is a common concern in the affluent countries.
6. Breast milk not only provides immunity to newborns in the early life, but breastfed children are also less likely to contract a number of diseases like juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis and cancer till the age of 15. Furthermore, breastfed children are also less prone to blood pressure problems and heart diseases when they grow older.
7. Breastfeeding reduces the chances of newborns suffering from food contamination due to infected water.
8. Due to the various digestive enzymes present in the mother's milk, it gets easily digested by the newborn, vis-à-vis formula milk, which may lead to indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea and constipation.
9. There have been many research papers that have observed that breastfeeding leads to a reduced probability of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
10. Kids who are breastfed longer have fewer dental cavities all their lives.
11. Several scientific pieces of research have proven that babies nurtured with mother's milk have higher IQ levels as it plays a vital role in the development of their nervous system.
12. Breastfed children develop fewer psychological, behavioural and learning problems. Also, it is observed that these children grow up to be more mature, assertive and secure adults.
In case, a mother is facing issues with breast milk supply or during the breastfeeding process, it is advisable to consult a lactation consultant. These days, several maternity hospitals also provide guidance on breastfeeding.