The month of August ushers in Breastfeeding Awareness Week which runs from August 1 to7.
Making the decision to breastfeed is a personal matter and as such mothers are not mandated to yet many medical experts, strongly recommend breastfeeding exclusively (no formula, juice, or water) for 6 months.
And breastfeeding for a year at least with other foods which should be started at 6 months of age, such as vegetables, grains, fruits, protein.
Why is breastfeeding so important and with what benefits?
Well, we have taken the liberty to share with you the health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Your Baby
1. It provides nutrition for baby
2. Breast milk lowers risk of illnesses
Breastmilk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies.
Plus, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea.
3. Children who are breastfed have higher IQs
Breastfeeding has been linked to higher IQ scores in later childhood in some studies.
Breastfeeding Benefits for the Mother
4. Helps mothers lose pregnancy weight faster
Breastfeeding burns extra calories, so it can help you lose pregnancy weight faster. It releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth.
5. Lowers the risk of breast cancer
Breastfeeding also lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It may lower your risk of osteoporosis, too.
6. Helps you save money
Since you don’t have to buy and measure formula, sterilize nipples, or warm bottles, it saves you time and money.
7. Helps to strengthen the bond between mother and child
It also gives you regular time to relax quietly with your baby thereby establishing a bond. Also, the physical closeness, skin-to-skin touching, and eye contact all help your baby bond with you and feel secure.