Deciding to breastfeed is a personal matter. It’s also one that’s likely to draw strong opinions from friends and family. Some of it may be helpful, but chances are high that most of it has no scientific credibility.
The World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates the week between 1 and 7 August every year as the World Breastfeeding Week. The theme for 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”. We at MediMagic wanted to raise awareness about breastfeeding while supporting mothers who choose not to breastfeed due to various factors.
There are times when young mothers abstain from breastfeeding due to a lack of awareness. According to the WHO, the recommended age in which mothers must breastfeed their child is until they turn two; but that hardly happens in India today.
Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants. It has the perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat – everything your baby needs to grow. All of this is provided in a form more easily digested than infant formula. Breast milk provides antibodies that give babies a healthy boost and protect them against many infections. Antibodies and bioactive factors in breast milk may fight against COVID-19 infection if a baby is exposed.
Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies. Plus, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea. It has been thought to lower the risk of diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers as well, but more research is needed.
Did you know that breastfeeding can burn up to 600 calories in a single day? This helps burn the pregnancy weight much easily. Breastfeeding also lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It may lower your risk of osteoporosis, too. Since parents don’t have to buy and measure formula, sterilize nipples, or warm bottles, it saves them time and money. It also gives moms regular time to relax quietly with the newborn as they bond.
In a few situations, breastfeeding could cause harm to the baby. Mothers are advised not to breastfeed if they are:
Being a mother is hard. Not exactly the discovery of the year, right? Still, many new mothers are taken aback by just how depleted, overwhelmed, and lonely they can feel by the end of the day, especially during the newborn phase.
All too often, well-intentioned friends, relatives, and neighbors aren’t sure what to offer, and new moms don’t know what to ask for. Many of those generic offers of assistance then fall through the cracks, because neither party is sure how to act on them. Here’s a better way to help a new mom: give her a highly specific suggestion of something you can do to help. Then, don’t take no for an answer—if she declines an offer, suggest something else. Few examples can be:
We hope this article has shed light on the importance of breastfeeding. Please share this blog with your friends and family, especially new moms and dads, to help them further.