We are nobody to judge you if you ever decide not to breastfeed your baby, however, the benefits are seemingly endless.
World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends breastfeeding until 2 years old or longer because the benefits continue for that long. These medically reviewed recommendations suggest starting as early as one hour after birth for the biggest benefits.
Before you jump into a conclusion, let us go through a list of science-based benefits that help both you and your little one.
• Breast milk best for nutrition
You will hear most healthcare professionals suggesting breastmilk for 6 months or more.
Breast milk has most of the nutrients that a baby requires for the first 6 months of life, in right proportions. Its content also naturally changes according to the baby's changing needs. It has protein, is low in sugar and loaded with beneficial compounds.
Only Vitamin D is missing from breast milk.
• Breast milk has antibodies
Breast milk has antibodies that make the baby's immune stronger to fight diseases.
Formula milk lacks antibody protection for infants. A number of studies show that infants who grew up on formula milk are more weak and catch diseases like pneumonia.
• Breastfeeding reduces disease risk
Exclusive breastfeeding means your infant receives ample amount of breast milk only. It reduces many harmful factors like- ear infection, infection in respiratory tract, cold, tissue damage in intestine, bowel disease, diabetes etc
• Promotes baby's healthy weight
Breastfeeding promotes healthy weight gain and helps keep obesity at bay.
Since mother's milk helps to develop bacteria in the gut. They are habituated to eat only when they have satisfied their hunger, which, in turn, helps create a healthy eating pattern.
• Breastfed infants are smarter
Studies show that there is difference in the development of the brain between a breastfed and a formula-fed baby. The reason may be the intimacy and eye-contact between the mother and infant.
While there are so many benefits for a baby, a mother is not without any benefit either,
Breastfeeding helps a mother to lose weight. It helps burn calories that might have accumulated during the early pregnancy stage. It also helps to contract the uterus. During pregnancy, the uterus grows, expanding in size filling almost half of the space. The body releases good amount of oxytocin during labour to deliver a baby in a healthy way. This Oxytocin increases during breasyfeeding which helps the intimacy between a mother and an infant to grow.
A breastfeeding mother is also safe from depression.
So why say no to breastfeeding?