There is a reason why paediatricians here in Singapore encourage mothers to breastfeed for the first six months of the baby. While it is obvious that breast milk can make the baby healthy, you have to know the specifics. What can breast feeding do to you and your baby?
Here is a list:
- Long term protection: Breastfeeding will provide your baby long term protection against chronic conditions – like type I diabetes, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.
- Stronger bones: Now thinking of the welfare of the mother, breastfeed can actually make her stronger. According to an infant-nutrition Ruth Lawrence, mothers who breastfeed have lower risk of osteoporosis (postmenopausal). This is because when a woman is lactating, she efficiently absorbs calcium.
- Decreases risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): SIDS remains a mystery for many and no mother wishes this for the baby. When you breastfeed, it actually decreases the risk of SIDS by about half.
- Calorie burner: Whether you have heard it or not, the truth remains that breastfeeding burns up to five hundred calories every day. This is good for the mother. Breast milk actually contains at least twenty calories per ounce. Imagine if you feed the baby twenty ounces a day, that’ll be four hundred calories you swished out of your body.
- Quick post-delivery healing: Mothers want to heal quickly after giving birth for the baby. If you consider breastfeeding, it will surely hasten your post-delivery healing. The oxytocin (which is released during breastfeeding) will aid the recovery of uterus quickly.
- Reduced risk of cancer: Cancer is everywhere and up to now, there is no specified cure to it. You can reduce your baby’s risk of developing cancer through breastfeeding.
- Serves as an effective vaccine: Research revealed that breastfeeding can fortify the baby’s antibody. In fact, breastfeeding is better than any vaccines but it doesn’t mean you have to do away with vaccines.
- Better bonding: Breastfeeding is your time with the little one. Every second with the little one is precious and it is an excellent bonding time. This way, you will know your baby more.
However, breastfeeding poses a challenge for working mothers. It is hard to nurse the baby when you are at work but it is not the reason to give it up. Never give up and choose formula instead. Nothing beats the love of the mother and breast milk of course.
If you want to ensure that the production of milk is continuous, you have to seek your doctor right away. There are many support groups that you can go to.