Breastfeeding: An Excellent Source of Food for Babies
Mother’s milk is considered as the best standard for infant feeding. According to doctors, breastfeeding results in numerous positive aspects for a child’s physical and mental growth. There is a massive list of benefits of breastfeeding for infants as well as for mothers such as nutritional, psychological, environmental, and also genetic interactions. Due to these multiple reasons, feeding breast milk for infants is recommended for at least 6 months. Previously, the effects of breastfeeding on the health outcomes of infants were based only upon observational studies. However, according to the intervention study, Promotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT), breastfeeding helps to fight infection, allergy disease, obesity, and also build neurodevelopmental outcomes.
Breast milk is the balanced and best food for babies from birth. It contains an exact proportion of all essential nutrients that a baby needs. With the growth of babies, breast milk changes and they get exactly what they need at that point of age. It has been observed for years that breastfed babies have very few health problems as compared to babies who don’t breastfeed. Furthermore, breastfeeding is beneficial both for the baby and mother. With breastfeeding, babies become strong and healthy, and simultaneously, mothers gain good health both in short term as well as for the long term.
Why is Breastfeeding Necessary?
- The first year of a baby’s life is a bit vital and crucial. Babies are quite sensitive to adjust to the outside world’s atmosphere. Breast milk protects babies from infections and ailments and makes them strong to fight against several other diseases.
- Breast milk is the default source of good hormones and has the perfect balance of proteins, fats, sugar, and vitamins that helps in the sound growth of the baby.
- Breastfed babies have immune-strengthening antibodies that protect them from having ear, lung, or urinary tract infections and also from cold and flu, diarrhea, and other sickness. Moreover, in their later life, they are less likely to have chronic diseases like asthma, cancers, diabetes, and many others.
- The fatty acids present in breast milk helps in the development of a baby’s brain and eyes.
- Most importantly, breast milk is easy to digest. It reduces gas formation and belly pain and helps the baby feel active and happy.
- It is not less than a miracle that a mother’s breast milk is always ready as per the needs of her baby. Furthermore, the more a mother breastfeeds her baby the more milk gets formed.
What is a Good Breastfeeding Diet?
At the time of breastfeeding, a mother needs to choose her food properly. Her diet should include, folic acid, multivitamins, proteins, calcium, plenty of fluids, omega 3 fatty acids, and cereals. Following are some good choices of food which a mother should include during breastfeeding:
- Try to include protein and calcium rich foods like meats, eggs, fish, nuts, beans, mushrooms, milk, cottage cheese, etc. in daily diet.
- Greens are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Try to make veggies, such as dark green veggies like zucchini, ladies-finger, spinach, and some yellow veggies like pumpkin, bell pepper, etc., as a part of the diet.
- Try to eat a fruit two times a day, mostly bananas, apples, papaya, grapes, etc.
- Include a good amount of cereals like wheat, oats, etc. in the diet.
- Breastfeeding can make a mother feel thirsty; hence, drinking sufficient water at regular intervals is essential.
Who Should Not Breastfeed?
Sometimes breastfeeding may not be safe for some babies. Doctors do not allow a mother to breastfeed depending on certain conditions:
- When a baby has certain health problems like low blood sugar or loss of body fluids, a mother may need to give other liquids as prescribed by the doctor instead of breast milk.
- Sometimes there are chances of passing the infections through a mother’s breast milk to babies. If a mother has certain medical conditions, is taking certain medicines, or is using some harmful drugs then she should not breastfeed.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for More Than 6 Months
Extended breastfeeding is not only a brilliant factor for a baby’s health but for the mother’s health too. Continuing breastfeeding beyond six months can lower the risks of having certain diseases like heart problems, diabetes, and cancers of the heart, ovaries, and uterus.
For working women, extended breastfeeding will act as a boon. They can feed their baby at times that fit their routine, for instance, before work, in break hours, and at bedtime. This allows the baby to get a booster with other solid intakes.
The Bottom Line
From ancient times, importance has been given to breastfeeding. From then to now, breast milk has been meant as a sole and excellent source of nutrition for infants. Currently, the fast and hectic lifestyle, food habits, and sedentary jobs are the major reasons for numerous health issues arising in women. To lead a good lifestyle is the key solution to every health problem. The future generation is a responsibility of every single present couple, especially, the woman. For a healthy and strong child, all women have to be very particular in choosing the right food and adopt a good lifestyle for themselves, their baby, family, and ultimately the society.
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