Read the previous article to know about the first part of the topic which entails the recommendations for breastfeeding and proper ways to breastfeed a baby.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
To The Baby
- It reduces the risk of child mortality before the age of 5 years and prevents Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It is reported that exclusively breastfed infants are 25 times less likely to die of diarrhea during the first six months than those fed substitutes.
- Breastmilk helps strengthen the immune system of the baby and thereby prevent illnesses such as respiratory infections, diarrhea, ear infections, etc.
- Breastmilk contains adequate nutrients that are required for the growth and energy of the baby.
- Improves the Intelligent Quotient (IQ) of the child. Breastmilk help in the proper development of a child’s brain. Well breastfed children tend to be smarter!
To The Mother
- Improves the health and well-being of the mother.
- Breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of developing ovarian and breast cancers.
- It also allows child spacing by preventing the mother from becoming pregnant.
- It is more economical compare to artificial feeding.
Although breastfeeding is the best, nurturing mothers are not allowed to breastfeed their child in the following conditions
- Mother is HIV positive
- Mother is suffering from tuberculosis
- Mother is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment
- Mother is using illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine
- Baby has galactosemia i.e a condition in which baby can not digest galactose which is present in breast milk
- Breast infection
In conclusion, the benefits of breastmilk cannot be overemphasized – it saves lives. It is estimated that improving breastfeeding rates across the world will prevent about 20,000 maternal deaths from breast cancer and save the lives of about 820,000 children yearly under age 5.