Importance of Breast Feeding
Breastfeeding or Lactation is the natural process in which the mother feeds the newborn baby her own milk from her breasts. According to doctors worldwide, breastfeeding or lactation can start as early as the first hour of the baby’s birth and can continue for as long and as often as the baby wants.
During the initial days of a baby’s life, the frequency of breastfeeding will be quite high. This comes down, as the baby grows older. In general feeding from each breast should not be for more than twenty minutes. New born babies need to be fed every two to three hours during the day. Breast-feeding has tremendous benefits for both the mother and the child . Thus it says breast-feeding is important for baby as well as mother
Advantages of breastfeeding for the mother
- Breast-feeding helps in burning large amounts of calories and may help the mother get back in shape faster.
- It also reduces the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
- Since breast feeding doesn’t need any equipment or formula and there is no need to sterilize the bottles, it is also timesaving and easy on the pocket
What are the advantages of breastfeeding for the baby?
- Breast milk contains the right amount of fat, protein and vitamins that is required by the newborn baby. That is why; breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for the baby to grow. The baby very easily digests breast milk.
- It contains antibodies which helps the baby fight against bacteria and viruses. Breast milk greatly reduces the risk of the baby suffering from allergies or asthma as well.
- It had been clinically proven that babies who have been breastfed for the first six to seven months of their lives, tend to have lesser incidence of diarrhoea, respiratory problems and ENT infections later on in life.
- Babies who are breastfed, are more likely to develop the correct height and weight over time. It may also reduce the risk of childhood obesity later on.
- Breastfeeding may also have a role to play in preventing the sudden infant death syndrome(SIDS).
- Breast milk can be very helpful in enhancing the intelligent quotient score of the baby in later years.
POSITIONING THE BABY
The most important thing to keep in mind here, is that both the mother and the baby need to be comfortable during the feeding. There are many ways it can be done.
Authored By Dr. Sunil Eshwar
Medical disclaimer: For information purposes only
- The football position is very helpful when recovering from a caesarean delivery. Here the baby’s back has to be lined with the mother’s forearm.
- Cradle position can be attempted by resting the baby’s head in the crook of the mother’s elbow with its body facing the mother.