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Importance of Breastfeeding

Atefa Noorain
Atefa Noorain
August04/ 2016

Breastfeeding is a choice made by every mother to provide complete nutrients to the baby. Babies must be breastfed as the breast milk helps in protecting and preventing the babies from many diseases and infections. The thick milk that comes soon after the pregnancy is called colostrums. Colostrum is rich in nutrients and contains antibodies that protect the baby from infections.

Colostrum helps in proper functioning of newborn digestive system. Colostrum changes into mature milk in 3-5 days of birth. The mature milk contains the required amount of sugars, fats, proteins and water that helps in the growth of the baby. Colostrum is thicker in consistency when compared to the matured milk. The consistency will not have any impact on the nutrient content of the matured milk.

Breastfeeding should ideally be done for 6 months to give complete protection against different diseases. Breast milk does not contain any synthetic growth hormones.

Reduces Disease Risk in Child

Breastfeeding enhances the vaccine effectiveness. Breast milk acts as a natural pain killer for the babies and helps in proper development of tooth and jaws. Breast milk also helps in better cognitive development of the babies. Breast feeding reduces the risk of different diseases in the baby like:

  • Asthma
  • Allergy
  • Childhood obesity
  • Ear infections or otitis
  • Eczema
  • Respiratory infections
  • Diarrhoea
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Sudden infant death syndrome
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Childhood leukaemia
  • Inguinal Hernia
  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Childhood lymphoma
  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
  • Hodgkin disease
  • Night blindness
  • Cardiopulmonary disorder
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Hemophilus b virus infection
  • Urinary tract infection

Breastfeeding Benefits in Mother

Breastfeeding mothers are healthier than the mother who does not do it.

  • Breastfeeding helps in burning extra calories and lose pregnancy weight faster.
  • Breastfeeding releases a hormone called oxytocin that helps your uterus to return to its normal size like pre-pregnancy stage.
  • Breastfeeding helps in reducing the uterine bleeding post pregnancy.
  • It also helps in lowering the risk of breast cancer. Women who breastfeed their babies are at low risk of developing breast cancer than the women who do not breastfeed their child. The chances of developing breast cancer have been reduced to 25 percent in breastfeeding women.
  • Recent study says that it might also help in lowering the risk of osteoporosis in mothers. Women who do not breast feed their child have a four times greater chance of developing osteoporosis.
  • Non breastfeeding women are at high risk of hip fracture in the post-menopausal years.
  • Breastfeeding mothers experience less postpartum anxiety incidents and depression when compared to non breastfeeding women.
  • Breastfeeding delays ovulation and helps in natural child spacing. Breastfeeding acts as a natural contraceptive.
  • Research studies say that breastfeeding helps in preventing crohn’s disease.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the insulin requirement in mothers.
  • Breastfeeding mothers are at low risk of developing endometrial cancer.
  • Breastfeeding protects the mother from iron deficiency.

Atefa Noorain
Atefa Noorain

Atefa Noorain, (Microbiologist) former Head of the Department of Life Sciences, Assistant Professor of Microbiology at Sujatha Degree College for Women. She worked as an Associate Research Analyst at Thomson Reuters and an Associate Editor of two research journals. She has presented her research work in 3 International Conferences. She has written articles for national journals and international journals. She had been felicitated as a Young Speaker in the last conference. She has worked on Nanoparticles as a part of her research project and won the Best Scientist of the Day award.

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