Breastfeeding is the natural and recommended way to feed a baby. It provides a wide range of benefits for both the mother and the baby, both in the short and long term. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, with the introduction of complementary foods at six months and breastfeeding continuing for up to two years or beyond.
The benefits of breastfeeding include:
- Breastfeeding provides the perfect nutrition for a baby
Breast milk is rich in antibodies, which help to protect the baby from infections and illnesses. It also contains all the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and development, including carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Breast milk is also easily digestible, making it less likely for the baby to suffer from digestive problems.
- Helps build strong emotional bond between the mother and baby
The physical act of breastfeeding releases hormones in the mother’s body that promote feelings of love and bonding. This emotional connection can have a positive impact on the baby’s emotional development, as well as the mother’s mental health.
- Benefits mother’s health
It can help to reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as breast and ovarian cancer. It also helps the mother to lose weight after pregnancy and can reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Additionally, breastfeeding can also help the mother to recover from childbirth more quickly.
- Environment friendly and cost effective
There is no need to purchase formula, bottles, or sterilize equipment. It also does not generate waste, unlike formula cans and packaging.
It is worth noting that breastfeeding may not be easy for all mothers, and it may take some time and practice to get the hang of it. Some mothers may experience difficulties such as sore nipples or a low milk supply. However, there are many resources available, such as lactation consultants or breastfeeding support groups, to help mothers overcome these challenges.
In conclusion, breastfeeding is the natural and recommended way to feed a baby. It provides a wide range of benefits for both the mother and the baby, both in the short and long term. Breastfeeding provides the perfect nutrition for a baby, helps to build a strong emotional bond between the mother and the baby, has many benefits for the mother’s health, and is environmentally-friendly and cost-effective. If mothers experience difficulties, there are resources available to help them overcome these challenges.
About The Author
Dr. Leo is a highly-qualified and dedicated primary care physician who graduated from Manila Central University College of Medicine in 2018. He passed the Physician Licensure Exam in 2019, and has since gained valuable experience practicing in various settings such as being a company physician, doctor-on-duty for outpatient clinics, and a telemedicine practitioner.
What sets Dr. Leo apart is his dual-certification as both a physician and a registered nurse, having passed the Philippine Nurse Licensure exam in 2012. He has a unique perspective on healthcare as he believes in taking a holistic approach addressing the root cause of an issue rather than just treating symptoms. He is dedicated to finding long-term solutions for current disorders and preventing new ones.