Breastfeeding is Best For The Baby
For many moms, breastfeeding is a beautiful time to quiet down and bond with their little one. Breast milk is considered an ideal food that is packed with essential nutrients to help in the growth and development of your baby. In India, at least 6 out of 10 mothers are able to give their babies only breast milk for the first 6 months of their lives.
Great for you and baby
Here are a few of the reasons that make breast milk a great source of nutrition for your baby:
- Breast milk has the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and water for your baby, and it changes to meet the changing nutritional needs of your little one
- Breast milk contains important antibodies that will help to protect the baby from certain illnesses like diarrhoea, allergies, respiratory conditions and ear infections.
- In the long term, when your baby becomes an adult, breast milk also reduces the risk for conditions like types 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Babies usually find it easier to digest breast milk.
Breastfeeding is also great for mom – breastfeeding causes the mother to release a hormone called “oxytocin” which helps the uterus to contract after birth and return to its normal size faster, and may help reduce bleeding. Mothers who breastfeed may have a lower risk of certain cancers like ovarian and breast cancer.
This is why experts around the world recommend that moms
- breast feed their baby within an hour after birth
- only give their baby breast milk for the first 6 months
- start with other complementary foods only after 6 months
- continue breastfeeding until after the baby is 2 years old
- World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative/Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India. ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. 4th Assessment of India's Policies and Programmes on Infant and Young Child Feeding http://www.bpni.org/report/WBTi-India-Report-2015.pdf.
- World Health Organization. Nutrition: Exclusive breastfeeding. http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/exclusive_breastfeeding/en/.
- NHS Choices. Benefits of breastfeeding.http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/benefits-breastfeeding.aspx.
- ACOG. Breastfeeding your baby. https://www.acog.org/-/media/For-Patients/faq029.pdf.