6 Benefits Of Exclusive Breastfeeding To Mother And Child

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August 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 is readily available.

Are you a new mother? Here is why you should try exclusive breastfeeding for at least a year.

1.Breast Milk Provides Antibodies

Antibodies are components provided in food to help combat any kind of disease. Breast milk is loaded with antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. This particularly applies to colostrum, the first milk.

For this reason, breastfeeding mothers with the flu may actually provide their babies with antibodies that help them fight the pathogen that is causing the sickness.

2.It Provides Ideal Nutrition For Babies

Breastfeeding expose babies to the ideal nutrient they need for perfect growth. Breast milk contains everything the baby needs for the first six months of life, in all the right proportions. Its composition even changes according to the baby’s changing needs, especially during the first month of life.

3.It Helps Mothers Lose Weight

For the first 3 months after delivery, breastfeeding mothers may lose less weight than women who don’t breastfeed, and they may even gain weight. Beginning around 3–6 months after delivery, mothers who breastfeed have been shown to lose more weight than mothers who don’t breastfeed.

4.It Helps To Promote Healthy Weight For Babies

Breastfeeding promotes healthy weight gain in babies and helps prevent childhood obesity. The 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 gut bacteria. Breastfed babies have higher amounts of beneficial gut bacteria, which may affect fat storage.

5.It Reduces Disease Risk For Mothers

Breastfeeding seems to provide the mother with long-term protection against cancer and several diseases. The total time a woman spends breastfeeding is linked with a reduced 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 both breast and ovarian cancer. Each year of breastfeeding is associated with a 4.3% decrease in breast cancer risk.

6.It makes children smarter

Studies indicate that exclusively breastfed babies have higher intelligence scores and are less likely to develop problems with behavior and learning as they grow older.

The research clearly shows that breastfeeding has significant positive effects on their long-term brain development.

Olamide is a media enthusiast that's goal-driven and intends to build her career at every opportunity she gets.