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___ TIP: Top 10 reasons to breastfeed your child
Breast milk is nature's way of providing the best nutrition to a new born. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding to babies for the first six months after birth. There are a number of reasons why mothers should breastfeed their babies, some more important than others. Here are 10 important reasons which should encourage non-breastfeeding moms to start breastfeeding their baby right away.
1. Breast milk is easily digestible by the baby
As opposed to formula milk, breast milk is easily digestible by the baby as it is completely natural and does not contain any synthetic or artificial nutrients like those present in formula milk. The protein content in breast milk is also as much as your baby requires, which is easily absorbed by your baby. However, in case of formula milk, more proteins are present, which cannot be absorbed by the baby's immature digestive system. This is why the stools of formula-fed babies are bulkier than those of breast fed babies.
2. Reduced the chances of breast cancer
This is one of the most import reasons why mothers should breast feed their babies. Moms who breastfeed their new born are at a reduced risk of suffering from breast cancer at a later stage in life. Moreover, it has been researched that baby girls who are breastfed also have a reduced risk of suffering from breast cancer at a later stage in life.
3. Breast milk increases levels of IQ in children
Children who are breast fed develop higher IQ levels than bottle fed milk. This is directly related to the growth hormones which are present in breast milk and are essential for the cognitive growth of the child. Whether the baby received breast milk directly through the breast or pumped, like using Avent Breast Pump or Medela Pump, studies show that it is the consumption of human milk that causes higher levels of IQ in school going children.
4. Breast milk helps pass meconium
Meconium is the sticky, black tar-like substance that passes from the babies intestines after birth. A mothers breast naturally produce colostrum in the initial days after birth which contains natural laxatives, along with antibodies and hormones to help clean the baby's intestines. Formula fed babies often have problems getting rid of meconium after birth.
5. Breast milk helps build the baby's immune system
Since breast milk is naturally produced, it contains all the essential nutrients, minerals, growth hormones, antibodies and other vitamins required by the baby. These substances help the baby to build a stronger immune system, helping the baby to fight against infections, diseases and illnesses. No formula milk can provide these disease fighting antibodies. According to a research, about 80% cells found in breast milk are macrophages, which are cells that help kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. This is why beast fed babies visit the hospital less often.
6. Increases the emotional bonding between the mother and the child
Breastfeeding is a natural process and it helps the mother and the child to bond with each other by spending quality time together. This emotional bonding is essential for the baby to grow in to a good human being. Bottle fed babies who are not able to make this bond can develop feelings of �neglect� over time. Touching and holding gives a very comforting and soothing feeling to the baby.
7. Breast feeding releases hormones in the mothers body
Breast feeding is known to release the hormone oxytocin in the mothers breasts, which helps in stimulating the uterine contractions, helping the mother to recover quickly after birth. Oxytocin helps the uterus to return back to its normal size. It also helps mothers to regain their figure more quickly. Non-breastfeeding moms are never able to shrink the uterus back to its pre-pregnancy size.
8. Reduces the risk of diabetes in children
Infants that are breastfed are at a reduced risk of developing diabetes in the later stages in life. Studies show that lack of breastfeeding is directly associated with the development of Type I diabetes over time. Non breast feeding babies are usually introduced to dairy products at an early stage. This increases the level of cow's milk antibodies in the child's system, increasing the risk of insulin dependent diabetes. Infants that are breastfed are also known to be at a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
9. Prevents post-partum hemorrhage in mothers
The release of oxytocin in the mothers body due to breastfeeding helps to shrink the uterus back to its pre-pregnancy size and also helps to expel the placenta. The contractions that allow this to happen also shut off the maternal blood vessels that fed the baby during pregnancy, discouraging excessive bleeding after child birth. Mothers who do not breast feed often have to take artificial oxytocin to help prevent post-partum hemorrhage.
10. Protects the baby against illnesses, infections and diseases
This reason makes breast milk the best gift for babies provided to every mother by nature. The natural antibodies present in breast milk allow the baby to fight against infections such as ear infections, infections of the respiratory system and intestinal tract, as well as reduces the risk of asthma in infants. Not only this, but breast milk also reduces diarrheal infections, vision defects, bacterial meningitis and the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, known as SIDS.
These factors are just a tiny part of more than 100 other reasons why breast milk is best for you and your child. So if you are a mother who has just given birth, or will be soon, should make every effort to give the best to yourself and to your child.