Adequate nutrition during infancy and early childhood is essential to ensure the growth, health, and development of children to their full potential. It has been recognized worldwide that breastfeeding is beneficial for both the mother and child, as breast milk is considered the best source of nutrition for an infant.
Exclusive breastfeeding is the process of feeding infants only breast milk for some time, be it directly from the breast or expressed. Exclusive breastfeeding is one of the essential actions for infant development and survival.
Below is a list of the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.
Provides perfect nutrition.
Breast milk is the best food to help your baby grow and develop. It is custom-made by each mother for her baby. Breast milk has the perfect amount of water, protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals, and is easy to digest. These nutrients are major prerequisites to the health and survival of the baby.
Breast milk helps your baby fight off sickness and disease. After birth, the first milk your breasts make is called colostrum. It helps to stop harmful germs that can make your baby sick. Colostrum does this by coating your baby's digestive system so that germs have no place to grow. This protection is even more important if your baby is born early (premature).
Ready and portable.
Breast milk is always fresh and at exactly the right temperature. It is ready for your baby whenever they are ready to eat. This makes feedings so much easier. Since breast milk is always with you, traveling or shopping with your baby is easier.
Good for mothers too.
Breastfeeding can protect mothers from many diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Your body uses energy to make milk, so breastfeeding can help you to lose the weight that you gained during pregnancy.
Exclusive breastfeeding may also delay the return of your periods for at least a little while. It is important to know that you can still get pregnant even if your periods do not start.
Promotes baby’s healthy weight.
Exclusive breastfeeding promotes healthy weight gain and helps prevent childhood obesity. Exclusively breastfed babies also self-regulate their milk intake. They’re better at eating only until they’ve satisfied their hunger, which helps them develop healthy eating patterns. Babies fed breast milk also have more leptin in their systems than formula-fed babies. Leptin is a key hormone for regulating appetite and fat storage.
For infants to survive, grow and develop properly they require the right proportion of nutrients. When a child is exclusively breastfed, their immune system is strengthened, enabling it to fight life-threatening illnesses like pneumonia and diarrhea amongst other infections. Reports indicate that babies who are not breastfed for the first six months of life are 15 times more likely to die from Pneumonia compared to newborns that are breastfed exclusively for six months after birth.
It becomes essential that mothers are counseled, supported, and encouraged to initiate exclusive breastfeeding.
Content created and supplied by: Goldeen (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More