“Bottles fill his stomach, but breastfeeding fills his soul.”
-Diane Wiessinger, IBCLC
The fact that breastfeeding is a key contributor to infant health is well established. It also provides numerous health benefits for nursing mothers. However, certain pieces of evidence & studies show that though 9 out of 10 women start out breastfeeding their babies, less than half are fully breastfed at 4 months of age. In some cases, there are not only women but even partners and family members who don’t apprehend the real importance & benefits of breastfeeding.
Thus the main cause of difficulty with breastfeeding remains as the fact that mothers often have a lack of information and a lack of support, at the times they need it most.
Changing lifestyles, availability of formula milk, and dried & prepared baby food, all form yet another reasons to have contributed to the decline in breastfeeding,
To raise awareness about this literal noble deed, 1st August-7th August is marked as World Breastfeeding Week. Gynecologist Dr. (Mrs.) Ashlesha Sankhe participates through digital health in this awareness drive & has tried to help lactating mums understand the topic via 7 tips & facts on breastfeeding.
Benefits of Breastfeeding to both- Mommy and her Baby
1. Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) is an almost 98% effective natural contraception method for mothers whose babies are less than 6 months old.
It is a well-known fact that breastfeeding suppresses a woman's fertility in the early months after delivery. However many women do not feel comfortable relying on breastfeeding as a form of birth control due to reasons. But, here’s a solution- Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM).
This is a reliable family planning method. Scientific studies conducted around the world by the Institute for Reproductive Health and other organizations have proven that when used correctly, LAM is an effective, safe, convenient short-term way for breastfeeding women to delay pregnancy.
2. Early initiation & expression, helps the mother to sustain milk output for a longer duration
Provision of mother’s breast milk to infants within one hour of birth is referred to as “early initiation of breastfeeding”. This ensures 2 most important things-
1. The infant receives the colostrum or “first milk”, which is rich in protective factors.
2. It helps to increase the likelihood of exclusive breastfeeding for one to four months of life
Thus, early initiation should be facilitated.
3. 4 components of Mother’s milk that forms pillars for a baby’s health
Breast milk is the primary source of nutrition for newborns. It has-
-0.8% to 0.9% protein,
-0.2% ash (minerals) Thus, now you know how you can strengthen your baby's health right from day 1.
4. Breast milk contains antibodies to fight bacteria & viruses
Breast milk is the natural weapon for your baby to fight bacteria & viruses. So if you want to keep your tiny little ones armed and safe, breastfeed them at their early age.
5. Colostrum has high immune factors
Colostrum is a nutrient-rich fluid produced by mothers immediately after giving birth. Innate immunity can literally escalate depending upon the colostrum. In other words, this complex biological fluid can ease your baby's living as it is loaded with immune, growth, and tissue repair factors.
6. Breastfeeding burns between 500-600 calories a day
Win-Win for both- Baby and Mommy! You may lose some of the weight gained during pregnancy while exclusively pumping. Burn your calories and give your baby what he/she needs (the apt nutrition).
7. Breastfeeding lowers your baby's risk of having asthma or allergies
Among the other benefits, breastfeeding has this power too! It lowers the risk of the baby catching any allergy or getting asthmatic.
Being a new mother or even a second or third-time mother can sometimes be difficult terrain to navigate. But always remember there is plenty of help available if required. If you’re concerned, come and speak to Dr. Ashlesha & get your doubts solved in time.
Breastfeeding is a gift that lasts a lifetime. So ladies, laugh, sing, dance, and glow; let the oxytocin flow.