Birthing a child makes you feel special and powerful – in a way that’s hard to describe in words. Once the child is out in the world from the comfort of the womb, it needs to be fed. Breastfeeding is a very natural process. Milk is produced and accumulated in a mother’s breasts throughout the pregnancy. And once the child starts suckling, the blood circulation increases the flow further. However, this may not be the case with certain mothers because of their choice or a medical condition.
Breastfeeding Health Advantages – Explained!
Breastfeeding vs formula feeding is a debated topic in today’s fast world. Many mothers fear that formula feeding might not be able to bond the newborn with them. However, the truth is a mother’s love shows, irrespective of her choice. It’s the warmth the baby seeks!
Breast milk is, by default, the best option available for both the mom and the young child/infant. It can majorly be attributed to how natural the process is. To or not to is a personal decision. But there is no denying that breastfeeding will always be the best option. If you are someone who is contemplating or giving second thoughts to breastfeeding, this blog has been tailor-made for you.
What Is Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is when one feeds the child directly from the breast; that’s alternatively known as nursing too. To or not to is a personal decision that is usually met with criticism from people around you. However, in the end, it’s the mother’s decision. Medical personnel and the WHO advise exclusively breastfeeding the child for the initial 6 months and then adding in solids as and when required.
How often a child feeds is dependent on the child’s choice. Some kids prefer frequent small feeds, while some others prefer bigger feeds that last longer.
A Mother’s Personal Viewpoint
I would be lying if I said I enjoyed the whole breastfeeding journey. It feels intrusive, exhausting, painful, and most importantly, it tires the living hell out of you. But the feeling of your child looking up to you while nursing, as if you were her entire world, is priceless!
My child is 2 yrs old now and was weaned off a couple of months ago. The sensation of your child suckling into you is weirdly tingly during the first few weeks. One loses their privacy during those initial few days. It was an absolute nightmare to be the only one responsible for your child’s feed. I was always feeding or pumping when I was awake during the initial 3 months. I remember mornings when I woke up and felt as if someone had sucked the life out of me.
But gradually, I started seeing the immediate health benefits, and I did secretly pat myself in the back. The child slept better, hence stayed happier and touched his milestones faster. The secret to a happy child is having them well-fed at all times. Eating healthy pre-delivery and post-delivery also plays a significant role during the breastfeeding journey. I can not emphasize this enough. Later, the child gets acquainted with those foods and doesn’t become a fussy eater."The secret to a happy child is having them well-fed at all times." 👶 🤱 Do you agree? ❤️
My toddler eats raw carrots with as much gusto as he eats pizzas with. So glad forcing myself to eat healthy finally paid off!
Health Benefits Of Breastfeeding For The Child
Mothers’ milk is specially produced, keeping in view a child’s bodily requirements. Studies have suggested that mothers’ milk creates antibodies when a child suffers from a certain ailment.
Breast milk has the right mix of vitamins and proteins and is available in a more digestible form. It’s easier for the child to digest breastmilk than it is to digest formula.
1️⃣ Breast Milk Contains Important Antibodies
Breast milk is loaded with every nutrient that a child’s growing body might require. Colostrum is said to be nectar for babies. It has antibodies that help the child’s delicate system fight off bacteria and viruses. Colostrum has Immunoglobulin that provides a protective layer in the child’s nose and mouth, fighting off disease-creating bacteria. This is how the child improves its immunity while growing up. It’s incredible how powerful and intelligent a child’s body is. It tells the mother what it requires, and then the mother nurses it with the desired quantity and quality. You start producing less milk when the demand for it subsides.
The formula does not provide the same amount of antibodies. As one reads, it is a predecided formula and not tailor-made for the child. As per its requirements, the child sucks up the right amount of nutrition from the mother. However, this isn’t possible when the child is formula-fed.
2️⃣ Breast Milk Aids In Healthy Weight Gain In Babies
Breastfed babies are known to gain the right amount of weight at the right age. The same kids are less likely to become obese as they grow up. Breast milk doesn’t contain any artificial sugar like formula milk. This sugar in the formula can be the culprit for childhood diabetes and obesity too.
The reason behind this is the bacteria in their guts that help in fighting off fat storage in their intestines. Breastfed babies have more leptin in their bodies than formula-fed babies. Leptin is the hormone responsible for regulating appetite and fat storage.
This is the very reason breastfed babies are known to regulate their food intake better. They eat only when they are hungry and eat the right amount. This eventually leads to better eating patterns and better relationships with food while they grow up.
3️⃣ Breastfed Babies Are Known To Be Smarter
Breastfed babies are generally more confident, owning to the body warmth, eye contact, and nutrition in general. These all eventually lead to them having better behavioral traits while growing up. A breastfed baby spends more body-to-body time with the mother, hence getting more interaction and feeling more secure.
There have been a lot of studies in the past and present that suggest that breastfed babies enjoy long-term benefits owning to breastmilk consumption.
4️⃣ Breast Milk Reduces The Risk Of SIDS & Other Diseases
A newborn’s delicate body and immune system are extremely susceptible to everything that’s foreign. Newborns are at risk from ear infections, allergies, and so much more. Breastfeeding gives them the home base during those tough times, but it also works as a miny pharmacy.
Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from:
- Middle year infections
- Gut infections (Breast milk directly affects their gut flora and fauna. Breastfed babies are less gassy than formula-fed babies)
- Childhood leukemia
- Childhood diabetes
- Allergic diseases
- Cold and other viral infections
Breastfeeding has numerous benefits, which is why it’s advised so profoundly by medical personnel worldwide unless there is some medical condition barring the mother from doing the same.
As a bonus, the breastfeeding mother also gains in multitudes by nursing her child. Be it your emotional or mental wellbeing; it’s all been taken care of.
How To Deal With Apprehensions Regarding Breastfeeding?
There could be multiple reasons why some women might have apprehensions regarding breastfeeding. Some of those reasons are:
- Soreness from delivery
- Experiencing severe pain and cramps
- Dealing with concerns about privacy
- Having breastfeeding problems
- Lacking breastfeeding confidence
If you are someone who has similar apprehensions, relax, darling, take a breather. You have been through a roller coaster of a ride, so cut yourself some slack. It’s okay for you to put yourself first once in a while. Understand that your sanity and wellbeing are crucial for your child’s growth. And once you feel better and confident, go check with your medical practitioner or talk to experienced mothers around you. You can also read articles in groups that are all over the web today. They will be able to provide you with the knowledge to improve your existing apprehensions and move ahead in your motherhood journey. It’s all right, you got it, babe!