Breastfeeding is a natural and crucial part of early motherhood.
Modern mothers are bombarded with information, pros and cons, and a million different tips on how to do motherhood “right”.
Breastfeeding isn’t only important for the baby, it benefits the mother in many ways too. So, if you’re contemplating breastfeeding your newborn or not, here are some advantages that can help you make a decision and get you further along in your research:
1. It has all the right nutrients for your newborn
Medical professionals suggest breastfeeding for up to 6 months, and even when the child has begun eating solid foods, it is recommended that they continue for a year.
It is the best source of nutrition, as the milk is high in protein and low in sugar which aids a newborn’s immature digestive tract to develop.
Natural antibodies such as immunoglobin A are absolutely essential in building immunity which is necessary for the early months of life. The risk of several infections, diseases, and ailments including diarrhoea and diabetes are reduced with timely consumption of mother’s milk.
2. It’s important for their mental health too
Research has shown that babies who are breastfed are likely to be smarter than those who are given formula in the early stages. This may have to do with the fact that breastfed babies experience physical intimacy with their mothers, as well as touch, and eye contact all coupled with the right nutrients.
Moreover, they may also experience fewer behaviour problems growing up and long-term brain development may progress smoothly as well.
Although it is pre-term babies that have a higher risk for developmental issues, newborns who are not breastfed may also face some common problems.
3. Moms, breastfeeding can help you lose all the pregnancy weight
Breastfeeding burns calories, and after a few months, moms may even notice that they are losing fat a little quicker than non-breastfeeding mothers.
Breastfeeding can also be protective for moms by reducing their chances of contracting breast and ovarian cancers, diabetes, arthritis, and heart diseases.
4. Let’s address postpartum depression
Mental health as a subject isn’t as stigmatized as it used to be, thanks to conversations and awareness around it on social media and elsewhere. Despite it, people still tend to stay away from the topic of postpartum depression.
It’s real, it’s out there, and we need to address it!
Some studies have indicated that women who breastfeed are less likely to experience postpartum depression in comparison with those who don’t wean.
A mother’s mental health is just as important as the baby’s overall health. If you feel like you are experiencing the symptoms, or know someone who does, you must contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
What’s the takeaway?
Breastfeeding is a crucial part of not only a child’s healthy development but also of a mother’s well-being after giving birth.
Some international organists like the WHO recommend breastfeeding for up to 2 years since the benefits for the child are just that important!
While there are no rules and every new mother’s body is different, if you are healthy and able, you should seriously consider giving your little one the right kind of nutrition.
The nutrients and antibodies that a mom can give her baby through this natural process are incomparable and can save the child from a host of health problems in the long run.
Whether it’s their digestive system, respiratory tract, or even their mental health and behavioural patterns, breastfeeding can go a long way in ensuring you are giving your newborn the best start to life.
Mamas, whatever your choice, just remember that you aren’t alone.
After all, you know how the saying goes… it takes a whole village to raise a child!