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Why it is important to breastfeed your baby| APN News

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Why it is important to breastfeed your baby

Posted on January 8, 2022

The following article was written by Dr Angeli Misra, Director of the Lifeline Laboratory

Why breastfeeding is best for a newborn baby and her mother

The new lactic mother as a natural response to her newborn’s feelings of hunger. Breastfeeding helps to create a close emotional bond between the newborn and its mother; from birth, the baby is hungry and needs to be fed immediately. Experts believe that the more a new mom feeds her newborn, the stronger the bond that develops between her and her baby: skin-to-skin contact and eye contact during breastfeeding evoke a feeling of emotional security in the baby. . In addition to this, breastfeeding has multiple benefits for the baby and the mother.

Baby benefits

  • Breastfeeding has a positive impact on the cognitive abilities and the brain and socio-emotional development of the infant, and therefore has far-reaching physical, mental, emotional and psychological benefits.
  • Breastfed children who were exclusively breast-fed for the first 6 months of life were found to have sharper brains, better memory retention abilities, and better language skills.
  • Breast milk is a complete meal for newborns, rich in proteins, fats and vitamins necessary for their nutrition and growth.
  • A baby who is only breast-fed does not need water or juice until 6 months of age, because breast milk meets all of the baby’s fluid needs.
  • Breast milk is easily digestible for infants and linked to better gut health in infants, resulting in less digestive upset and frequent episodes of diarrhea, not only in infancy, but also later in life when l ‘child is growing up.
  • Colostrum, the yellowish fluid released by the mother from her breasts just before the start of lactation, is very beneficial for the newborn baby because it is rich in antibodies (IgG, IgA and IgM) and helps build immunity in the baby. baby’s body to fight germs and infections. By ignoring its benefits, many mothers get rid of it before starting to breastfeed their babies: this is a myth that must be debunked. Neonatalists stress that it should not be discarded because it is rich in nutrients like proteins, fats, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, growth hormones and digestive enzymes which are crucial for health and the overall nutrition of the baby.
  • Breastfed babies fight infections better and have shorter illness episodes, making their recovery faster and relatively easier, compared to bottle-fed babies.
  • It is believed that breastfed babies develop better immunity against asthma and other respiratory infections, as well as ear, nose and throat infections and other allergies.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to be obese.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of diabetes later in life.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
  • It is believed that breastfed babies develop a higher IQ as they age.

Benefits for the mother

  • Breastfeeding her newborn is as beneficial for the mother as it is for the baby, because it evokes her nurturing and protective instinct.
  • Breastfeeding mothers are able to lose pregnancy weight faster because breastfeeding burns extra calories.
  • Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin in the mother’s body which helps shrink her uterus to its normal size.
  • It also reduces postpartum uterine bleeding.
  • Breastfeeding greatly reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Breastfeeding is also economical, as it reduces the money, time and energy spent on formula, sterilizing tablets, sterilizing bottles, rubber nipples and boiling water to prepare the formula.

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