Breastfeeding on child development is one of the most important and effective ways of ensuring that the child keeps to healthy growth. Scientific research has shown that some women deprive their infants exclusively of breastfeeding for the recommended period of 6 months resulting in stunted growth and development of the child giving excuses of not wanting a sagged breast.
Breast milk is the best and highly recommended food for infants because it is safe, clean and contains antibodies that help in the development of the child immune system fighting against many common childhood illnesses. Breast milk gives an infant all the energy and nutrients needed for the first months of life, and it provides up to half or more of the nutritional needs of a child during the second half of the first year and down to one third during the second year of life.
Children who are well breastfed perform better intellectually, the possibility of becoming overweight and obese is very slim and they are less prone to diabetes later in life, and as a woman, if you breastfeed your child well, there will be reduced chances of breast and ovarian cancers resulting to longevity.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for an Infant
Breast milk provides the right nutrition for infants. It has a perfect combination of vitamins, proteins, and fat everything your baby needs to grow. Breast milk contains antibodies that help build the child immune system to fight off viruses, bacteria and other infections. Breastfeeding lowers an infant risk of having asthma or allergies. Babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhoea. They also have fewer hospitalizations and a medical visits to the doctor.
Breastfeeding has been linked to increasing the intelligence quotient scores in later childhood in some studies. It also brings about physical closeness, skin-to-skin touching, and eye contact which helps in creating a baby to mother bond making the child feel much secured. Breastfed infants are more likely to gain the right amount of weight as they grow rather than become overweight. Breastfeeding also plays a great role in the prevention of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). It has also been thought to lower the risk of diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers as well. The bacteria in breast milk may also increase the baby’s health by preventing disease-causing microorganisms to grow and promoting growth of beneficial microbes in the gut
Benefit of Breastfeeding for the mother
Breastfeeding helps the mother burns extra calories, by helping her lose pregnancy weight faster. It releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps the mother’s uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth. Breastfeeding also lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It may lower the mother risk of osteoporosis, too.
Since the mothers don’t have to buy and measure formula, sterilize nipples, or warm bottles, it saves you time and money. It also gives you regular time to relax quietly with your newborn as you bond.
How long should I breastfeed?
As recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), it is expedient that exclusive breastfeeding lasts for at least 6 months. It is usually recommended to introduce complementary foods at 6 months of age, alongside continued breastfeeding for up to 2 years. Even if you breastfeed for a shorter period than the recommended 6 months, it is more beneficial than not breastfeeding at all.
Some scientific research indicates that introducing foods alongside breastfeeding between 4 and 6 months of age is helpful in the prevention and management of food sensitivities and allergies. This is why certain guidelines already advise introducing mixtures of fruits and vegetables, and with small amounts of common allergens such as egg and peanut, and it is also important to introduce each new food one at a time, to more easily identify potential intolerances or allergies.
Diet for breastfeeding mothers to aid breast milk
Lots of breastfeeding mothers wonder if there are diets that will aid breast milk. There are actually foods to be taken and this will make your breast milk be in the right amount and best quality for your baby.
What to consume
- Protein foods 2-3 times daily like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and beans.
- Consume 2 servings of fruits daily.
- Include whole grains such as millet, wheat and oatmeal in your diet daily.
- Consume three serving vegetable daily.
- Drink enough water to satisfy your thirst, because there is tendency to go thirsty while breastfeeding.
- You’ll need to take B12 supplement to make sure your baby isn’t B12 deficient.
Breast milk is full of nourishing nutrients and a protective compound for the development of every child. This is why the standard of breast milk is very high, and depriving your baby of it will result in mental retardation and also a stunted growth in the development of any baby, so it’s expedient for every mother to make exclusive breastfeeding a top priority for her baby during the period of 6 months.