The Importance of Breastfeeding

By Island Hospital   |   Aug 10, 2020 2:53:40 PM

Breastfeeding is an important act of love between a mother and her child. It strengthens and promotes bonding between mother and child, and also has many benefits.

Skin to skin breastfeeding is beneficial to babies because a mother’s milk contains antibodies which enables colonisation of good bacteria from mother to baby. It contains the perfect nutrition a baby needs that can be easily digested and absorbed, which can help reduce incidences of coughing, flu, and infections. It can also help enhance a baby’s IQ levels.

Meanwhile, mothers are benefited by breastfeeding through the prevention of post-partum depression, prevention of uterine bleeding after delivery, and reduces the risk of breast cancer. Breastfeeding also helps mothers lose weight and revert back to their pre-pregnancy weight.

On the other hand, if babies aren’t breastfed and are fed with formula milk instead, there can be adverse risks for both mother and child.

With formula milk, babies may experience digestive problems, dental problems, an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Plus, babies may also suffer in cognitive development and develop a lower IQ.

For mothers, not breastfeeding their child may cause an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and a slower return to pre-pregnancy weight.

Unstable moods can also be caused by formula milk feeding because breastfeeding triggers a feel-good sort of calm when mothers feed, due to oxytocin and prolactin, which then decreases aggression when new neurochemical pathways are created in the mother’s brain.

Breastfeeding is more than the act of just feeding your little one. It also provides an incredible number of health benefits to both mother and baby. It is a priceless gift with effects that carry over into the years to come.


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