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Breast Milk and Breast Feeding Benefits (0-3)

Updated: May 19, 2020

Breast milk really is a wonder – a complete meal, ready whenever and wherever you and your baby are. Most mothers can breastfeed if they have the right information, support and care.

Breast Milk contains nutrients your baby needs for growth and development and protects your baby against infections and diseases.Breastfeeding is free and convenient and can promote bonding between you and your baby. It’s recommended you breastfeed exclusively until your baby starts solid foods at around 6 months and keep breastfeeding until at least 12 months.

Breast Milk for babies: what the experts say?

Here are some reasons why experts say that breast milk is the natural food for your baby.

Breast Milk: Designed by Nature

Breast Milk has developed over millions of years to be exactly suited to your baby’s needs. Although baby formula manufacturers try to copy breast milk as closely as they can, formula won’t ever be exactly the same as breast milk.Breast Milk adapts to your baby’s changing needs as he gets older and has fewer feeds. It even changes during a feed – the first milk is thirst-quenching, and the last milk is rich, creamy and full of good fats.The taste of breast milk changes with whatever you’ve eaten, which means that a breastfed baby is likely to accept new tastes when she starts eating solids.

Breast Milk: A Complete Food

Breast milk contains all the nutrients your baby needs for the first six months of life. Your baby doesn’t need any water or foods other than breast milk in these early months. Breast milk is easy to digest and is easily absorbed into your baby’s system.

Breast Milk: A Basis for Healthy Development

Both colostrum and mature breast milk contain antibodies and other agents that help protect your baby from infection and reduce the risk of diseases like gastroenteritis, respiratory tract infections, ear infections and type-1 diabetes.The good fats in breast milk are important for baby brain development.Breastfeeding is important for baby eyesight, speech, jaw and mouth development.Babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and fatal sleeping accidents. Breastfeeding encourages skin-to-skin contact and eye contact between you and your baby. Being physically connected to your baby can help him bond with you and feel secure.

Breastfeeding: Why it’s Good for Mothers

Breast Feeding is Convenient.

You don’t have to sterilize bottles, scrub teats, carry bottles and sterile water when you go out, mix powder, keep baby formula chilled or warm formula for feeds. Breast Milk is free. Breastfeeding can help some women lose weight after the birth.Breastfeeding mothers get back to sleep more easily than formula-feeding mothers, and their sleep cycles are more in tune with their babies’ cycles.Women who breastfeed have lower rates of breast cancer, osteoporosis and type-2 diabetes.

Breastfeeding: your choice

In the end, it’s an individual choice – but it should be an informed choice.

If you decide not to breastfeed, rest assured that formulas give your baby adequate nutrition. And if you need to supplement breast milk with formula, it doesn’t mean that breastfeeding has to stop completely.

How Long to Feed Breast Milk to your Baby

It’s recommended that you breastfeed exclusively until you introduce solid foods when your baby starts showing signs she’s ready, which usually happens around six months. It’s around this time that babies start to need extra nutrients for growth and development.

Your baby needs only small amounts of food for the first few months of solids, and breast milk is still baby’s main source of nutrition. Once you introduce solids, it’s best for your baby if you keep breastfeeding along with giving your baby solids until your baby is at least 12 months old.

After that, it’s really up to you and your baby how long you keep going. If you decide to breastfeed for longer, your baby will get added benefits like protection against infections in the toddler years.

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