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{November 11, 2010}   Importance of breastfeeding

Importance of breastfeedingby – Nidarshana Sharma

Babies are bundles of joy. They are the apples of their parents’ eyes. As parents, we ensure that our child has the best of everything- the best room, clothes, toys etc. Then how can we compromise on their food?

It is imperative that babies be fed breast milk at least till they turn one. Earlier women used to breastfeed their children till the birth of their second child, but these days due to time constraints, a large number of women have started depending on bottled milk as a substitute.

Breastfeeding has many nutritional, immunological, emotional and psychological benefits. This is enough reason for mothers to breastfeed their child regularly and for the medical community to fiercely market it.

Breastfeeding must commence as early as possible after child birth. Though both the mother and the child may face certain difficulties in the beginning, they can work it out fine as time progresses.

Breast milk has a high amount of nutrients. It is rich in fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and enzymes which are essential for the all-round development of the child at different stages of his growth.

Breast milk contains 80% macrophages which aid in killing bacteria, fungi and viruses and boost the child’s immunity system. Breast-fed children are less likely to develop infections and contract infectious diseases. Breast-fed babies are also less likely to develop risks, such as ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory illness, allergies, gastrointestinal infections, diabetes, obesity, childhood cancers, cavities, and so on.

Breastfeeding creates a beautiful bond between the mother and the baby. The sight of your baby so close to you, noticing his tiny fingers and feet and the twinkle in his eye, is an inexplicable feeling. It is priceless to watch your baby giving you a delightful crooked smile when you cuddle him. This bond which is forged at this stage, will last lifelong.

Breastfeeding is not just advantageous to the baby, but is also a boon to the mother. Health wise, breastfeeding women are more immune to breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis etc. Also, breastfeeding mothers are recognized as more caring and loving towards their children.

Breastfeeding also delays your menstrual cycle, which is not the case with mothers who feed their baby formula milk. Thus, breastfeeding also temporarily reduces one hassle.

Making formula milk can be highly inconvenient and messy. On the other hand, breastfeeding is very convenient as the baby can be anywhere whenever he is hungry.

Parents spend a lot of money on buying milk powder and things which they can spend productively elsewhere, perhaps for their child’s education. Thus, breastfeed your child and save money.

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