The benefits of breastfeeding are innumerable and the positive effects on both the mother and child cannot be ignored nor can be disregarded. It is essential for a mother to breastfeed her child unless health reasons or complications do not allow it. The need to promote breastfeeding is crucial in today’s day and age, while some women may understand the importance of breastfeeding, breastfeeding needs to be promoted and advocated.
The benefits of breastfeeding are far reaching and include health, mental health, economic and environmental benefits.
A new mother goes through many emotional, physical, and mental changes when she gives birth. The body needs time to recuperate and for certain mothers this can take time and lead to physical and mental health issues. Breastfeeding your child can be beneficial in improving mental and physical health.
One of the key benefits of breastfeeding is the improvement of mood in the mothers, it is also known to help with postpartum depression and release hormones which make you feel happy and get joy from the experience of breastfeeding. It is said that it develops the bond between the baby and mother and helps the mother relax and feel at peace.
Women who breastfeed have fewer chances of getting breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Studies have shown reduced rates of these cancers developing in women who breastfed their child.
The reduced risk of certain diseases for the mother is a vital benefit of breastfeeding. Studies have shown that chances of cardiovascular disease or heart disease can be reduced along with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Breastfeeding reduces the chances of urinary tract infections which can cause significant pain and irritation.
The chances of getting diabetes are also reduced if women breastfeed their child, Diabetes is a lifestyle change and needs constant monitoring and checks throughout life. The risk of rheumatoid arthritis is also reduced if women breastfeed their child.
Exclusive breastfeeding also reduces the chances of getting pregnant thus acts as a natural contraception. Regular breastfeeding helps in returning the uterus to its regular size and reduce postpartum bleeding.
Babies who are breastfed are healthier and develop fewer health problems than children who have not been breastfed.
One of the key benefits of breastfeeding for babies are stronger immune systems, reduced chances of getting sick and possibility of hospital stays due to infections. Babies who are breastfed have less diarrheal and stomach issues.
The immune system of the mother creates antibodies which enter the baby through the breast milk. This safeguards the baby from illnesses and helps them to be healthier and happier babies.
As mentioned earlier breastfed babies have a stronger immune system thus have fewer respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, bronchiolitis, and coughs. Breastfed babies have fewer incidences of colds and ear infection which at a young age can damage hearing.
Babies who are breastfeed have fewer cases of bacterial meningitis (infection of the brain). It lowers the rates of infant mortality and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Babies who are breastfed have reduced chances of illnesses and they grow up to be healthier children. The children who had been breastfed at birth have fewer incidences of asthma, allergies, or skin allergies such as eczema. There are few incidences of colitis and Crohn's disease in children who are breastfed.
Another benefit of breastfeeding for children is the reduced chances of childhood cancers such as lymphomas and leukaemia. The ordeal of cancer is difficult for the child, parents, and the family.
Children are at a reduced risk of developing diabetes and obesity if they are breastfed. Diabetes and obesity bring with it multiple issues and can cause serious complications.
Children who are breastfed have fewer cavities and orthodontic problems. As they grow older, they are less likely to develop autoimmune diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis. Thus, it is imperative that every child is exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life.
Breastmilk does not cost anything and has benefits which have been verified by science and studies. Formula milk has a regular added cost to the household expenses. Breastfeeding is easier, simpler, and faster and does not require any preparation.
Breastfeeding has an added environmental benefit whereby no waste is produced or discarded. No bottles, formula cans or packaging materials are thrown away. No water is wasted in washing bottles and other items.
The advantages of breastfeeding are many and affect the mother, children, our economics, and our environment. We need to promote breastfeeding and provide an environment comfortable and convenient for breastfeeding to mothers.