Breast Milk – Benefits for Babies and mums
Check out all the benefits that breast milk generates!
One of the purest forms of food that nature has created for babies is breast milk. It is unadulterated, natural and very easy to digest for the newborn that all mothers should breastfeed their babies without fail.
The Australian Infant Feeding Guideline recommends all mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies until six months of age and continue after that with solid supplements till 12 months of age. Once the baby is one year old, the mother can continue feeding the child until 2 years if both the mother and the child desires.
Though the United Nations and Australian Infant feeding guideline specify the time duration for breastfeeding, it is completely left to the discretion of the mother. Even if the baby has been fed only for a few days, it has its benefits.
The following are the breastfeeding benefits with the time duration of feeding.
Breastfeeding for a few days:
If you have breastfed the baby only for few days, he would have received his first dose of immunization namely “colostrum.” Colostrum is the yellow discharge that first oozes out of the breast before milk starts secreting.
Feeding colostrum sets his digestive system working smoothly and build a strong base for feeding. It contains the necessary antibodies that protect your baby from various bacteria and viruses.
Breastfeeding for 4-6 weeks:
Babies who are breastfed for 4-6 weeks are less likely to fall sick and hospitalized. The mother’s body also gets adjusted to breastfeeding, and the process becomes more natural for both the mother and the baby
Breastfeeding for 3-4 months:
Once you feed the baby for 3-4 months, the babies digestive system would have matured a great deal. You can protect the baby from a lot of infections if you feed him/her for so long.
Breastfeeding till six months:
If you have exclusively breastfed the baby for six months, you have strictly followed the Australian Infant Feeding Guideline.
Now you can protect the baby from a host of childhood diseases like an ear infection, respiratory infections, and bouts of diarrhoea. It provides effective contraception for you and helps you to recover from post-natal changes.
Once the baby is six months of age, you should introduce solid food along with breast milk. Introducing solid food ensures that all the dietary requirements of the growing baby are met. It also helps in the proper jaw and motor skill development.
Breastfeeding till six months:
Breastfeeding not only provides enough nutrition to the baby during its infancy but can provide its benefits to the child in the years to come.
- Some studies have shown that children who are exclusively breastfed during their infancy have a higher IQ than kids who are not exclusively breastfed.
- Breastfeeding helps in building a strong bond between the mother and the child which lasts for years
- Breastfed children gain the right amount of weight as they grow and is less likely to become overweight
That’s not all, there are some great benefits for mums too!
- Through breastfeeding, the mother can burn extra calorie and shed her pregnancy weight faster.
- Breastfeeding releases the hormone Oxytocin (the hormone of love!) which helps in shrinking the uterus to the pre-pregnancy size.
- It reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
- Breastfeeding is easy as it does not require a bottle or sterilizing. Thus, you can feed the baby anytime, anywhere.
Though the benefits of breastfeeding are known to all, most of the mothers are not able to continue feeding for long because of various reasons. Sometimes they become preoccupied with their work and may not get the time to feed the baby. For some, health issues can stand in their way of feeding the baby.
Various breastfeeding products are available in the market to pump breast milk and store them safely. One such product is the ThermoSensor Breast Milk Bags.
This storage bag not only lets you store the milk in a 100% BPA free environment but also has a color change key that tells you when the breastmilk is at the right temperature. Thus, it becomes easy to feed the child. Each bag is pre-sterilized and leak proof which ensures safe storage. Moreover, the bags are reusable thus making it environment-friendly as well.
For further information, you can visit health.gov.au
The benefits of feeding your child are multifold. It is your responsibility as a mother to ensure that your bundle of joy gets the purest of pure food from nature.