Every year, World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated from August 1 to 7 in more than 120 countries around the world with the support of WHO and UNICEF, we will pay attention to the importance of this process and all the benefits associated with it.
Breast milk is undoubtedly the best food you can provide your baby for optimal growth and development. Its composition includes the ideal number of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and, last but not least, it is easily digestible for absorption by the newborn, and there is no risk of intolerance to it. The presence of essential enzymes, hormones and antibodies make it vital for the normal growth, development and good health of your baby. The unique thing about it is that it naturally adapts to each stage of the child’s development while growing, meeting all his/her needs and at the same time has the role of protection from different diseases and infections.
The health effects of breastfeeding are well recognized and practiced in all developed nations and countries. Breast milk is uniquely suited to the baby’s nutritional needs and is a living substance with unparalleled immunological and anti-inflammatory properties that protect both mothers and children from numerous diseases.
One of the essential benefits of breastfeeding is related to the beneficial effect on reducing and preventing obesity. This is because breast milk contains hormones that program the regulation of your baby’s food intake, thus breastfed babies control the amount of milk they consume and stop feeding when they feel full. This helps them control their appetite from a very early stage in their development.
- Breastfeeding builds strong immunity and prevents frequent illnesses.
- Breastfed children suffer less from recurrent upper respiratory tract infections or rota viruses.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of developing atopic dermatitis
- Reduces the risk of developing overweight
- Breastfeeding is believed to be relevant to the intellectual development of the infant and child.
The World Health Organization strongly recommends that newborns can be fed only with breast milk until 6 months of age and continue to receive breast milk along with complementary foods (at a later stage) for at least the first year of life.
Many women encounter difficulties at the very beginning in the process of breastfeeding. The main concerns are related to pain, sore nipples and the fear that the amount of breast milk offered is not enough. Therefore, there is undoubtedly a need for more medical facilities that support the natural feeding process, as well as more trained counselors to encourage and assist mothers.
However, if you manage to overcome the initial difficulties and start breastfeeding your baby, the benefits can be summarized as follows:
- Help the process of your uterus returning to its normal size more quickly
- Builds an initial and special bond with your baby
- Saves you time and money
- Convenience – no need to carry bottles or adopted milk formula when you are out of home
- Breastfeeding burns calories and can help you regain your per-pregnancy weight faster