We all are aware (and nobody doubts or question about it) the advantages of breast feeding, for the baby as for the mother. Breast feeding and breast milk is the best food for the baby, which nature has provided for the best chance of survival of the baby after coming out of the safe environment inside mothers womb. Breast milk not only provide the baby with the best food, but breast feeding also create an emotional bond between the mother and the baby, which gives immense satisfaction to the mother and provide the baby with the best psychological support suitable for future growth and development of the baby.
Breast feeding is the best way to provide the required nourishment for the baby and it can help the mother to fight certain diseases such as breast tumors (women with more than one child and history of breast feeding develop breast cancer much less than women without any child or a single child) and protect the mother from developing psychiatric problems.
The advantages of the breast feeding for the baby:
- Breast milk is wholesome food, which contains protein, sugar, fat, minerals and vitamins that the baby needs for optimal growth and development.
- Breast milk is easiest for the baby to digest, including premature babies. Cowâ€™s milk or buffaloâ€™s milk is less easy to digest for the baby.
- Breast milk contains certain ingredients which help the baby fight against diarrhea, allergy and certain infections.
- Breast milk is the most cost effective feeding, as there is no need of feeding bottles and cleaning them. All mothers can provide their baby with sufficient supply of breast milk and it is available at the correct temperature for the baby, unlike bottle feeding which has to be brought to right temperature before feeding.
- The risk of infection from feeding is minimal with breast feeding.
The advantages of breastfeeding for the mother:
- Breastfeeding can burn calories faster and help the mother to get back to shape earlier.
- Breast feeding delays menstruation and pregnancy can be prevented without contraceptive use for few months after delivery.
- Breast feeding can reduce risk of breast cancer (one of the most common cancer among women) and ovarian cancer.
The expert committee of WHO (World Health organization) recommends breast feeding for at least one year (out of which 6-8 months should be exclusive breast feeding) and preferably as long as possible.