World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from August 1 to 7 to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
Exclusive breastfeeding is very essential for babies as breast milk provides optimal nutrition. Breast milk has the right amount of nutrients, is easily digested and readily available.
Are you a new mother? Here’s why you should try exclusive breastfeeding for at least a year.
1. Breast milk provides antibodies
Antibodies are components that provide food to help fight any type of disease. Breast milk is loaded with antibodies that help your baby fight viruses and bacteria. This applies particularly to colostrum, the first milk.
For this reason, breastfeeding mothers with the flu can provide their babies with antibodies that help them fight the pathogen that is causing the illness.
2.Provides ideal nutrition for babies
Breastfeeding exposes babies to the ideal nutrient they need for perfect growth. Breast milk contains everything a baby needs for the first six months of life, in the right proportions. Even its composition changes according to the changing needs of the baby, especially during the first month of life.
3. Helps mothers lose weight
During the first 3 months after delivery, mothers who breastfeed may lose less weight than women who do not breastfeed, and may even gain weight. Starting around 3 to 6 months after giving birth, breastfeeding mothers have been shown to lose more weight than non-breastfeeding mothers.
4. Helps promote a healthy weight for babies
Breastfeeding promotes healthy weight gain in babies and helps prevent childhood obesity. Duration is also important, as each month of breastfeeding reduces your child’s risk of future obesity by 4%. This may be due to the development of different intestinal bacteria. Breastfed babies have higher amounts of beneficial gut bacteria, which can affect fat storage.
5. Reduces the risk of diseases for mothers
Breastfeeding appears to provide the mother with long-term protection against cancer and various diseases. The total time a woman spends breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
In fact, women who breastfeed for more than 12 months during their lifetime have a 28% lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Each year of breastfeeding is associated with a 4.3% decrease in breast cancer risk.
6. It makes kids smarter.
Studies indicate that exclusively breastfed babies have higher intelligence scores and are less likely to develop behavior and learning problems as they get older.
Research clearly shows that breastfeeding has significant positive effects on your long-term brain development.