The Importance of Breastmilk/Breastfeeding
- Breastmilk is gold for the baby. It naturally contains antibodies that aren’t found in formula, which helps prevent ear infections, asthma, respiratory infections and other illnesses. It also contains leptin and ghrelin, hormones that control appetite in a child, according to a research paper published in the U.S. Some studies have also found that breastfeeding for at least 6 months may reduce your baby's chance of getting childhood leukaemia. But more research is needed into this.
- Giving nothing but breast milk is recommended for about the first 6 months (26 weeks) of your baby's life. The main antibody found in breast milk, called IgA, boosts immunity by blocking pathogens from attaching to the gastrointestinal tract.
- The rate of sudden infant death syndrome is also reduced by more than a third in breastfed babies.
- Infants who exclusively consume breast milk for the first six months are also less prone to obesity.
- For mothers, breastfeeding may help reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, and diabetes.
- Emotional and health benefits aside, you’re also likely to find it the easiest and most convenient way to feed your baby.
So, do be persistent. Don’t let any struggles of the first few days make you give up too soon. Take a day at a time and try to get into the routine. However, if for some reason, you are not able to breastfeed, do not carry guilt. Your happiness is very important for the baby. You can have bonding and intimacy during bottle-feeds as you could with breastfeeding—just make sure that feeding sessions are quiet, close and personal.