Breastfeeding gives the child the best start in life.
It is estimated that over one million children die each year from diarrhea, respiratory and other infections because they are not adequately breastfed.
The WHO and UNICEF recommends exclusive breastfeeding from birth for the first 4-6months of life and sustained breastfeeding together with adequate complementary foods up to 2years of age or more.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF BREASTFEEDING?
1. Breastmilk contains the perfect quantity of nutrients required by the baby per time(especially in the first 6months.
2. Breastmilk contains anti-infective factors, these are substances that protect your baby against infection.
3. Breastfeeding aids bonding between mother and child.
1. It helps to reduce risk of uterine bleeding and helps uterus return to normal size(the uterus houses the baby)
2. It helps to delay new pregnancy
3. It aids return to pre-pregnancy state.
4. Helps reduce risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
1. Breastfeeding is cheaper than artificial feeding
2. Breastfeeding results in reduced medical costs( from reduced visit to hospital)
MYTH ABOUT COLOSTRUM
Colostrum is the breastmilk a woman produces for the first few days after delivery, it is thick, yellowish or clear color.
Some people believe that the colostrum is unhealthy for the baby, therefore the baby is given substitutes in the first few days following delivery while the mother express and pour it away.
This practice should not be encouraged, it should infact be stopped. The colostrum is very healthy for your baby.
It is antibody rich, vitamin A rich, has lots of growth factors which are important for your newborn.
there are some conditions that prevent mothers from breastfeeding. If you have questions about these as a mother, or you noticed cracked nipples, excessively swollen breast etc SEE YOUR DOCTOR.