World Breastfeeding Week, with the theme, ‘Step up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support’, is to further raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding the child and the mother alike.
To further reduce this mortality rate globally and especially in our dear country still experiencing a high mortality rate, mothers are to consider the benefits below to further encourage them to breastfeed their babies.
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- It is perfect nutrition: According to information available to Kiddies Africa News, breast milk is the best food to help your baby grow and develop. It is custom-made by each mother for her own baby. Breast milk has the perfect amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals, and is easy to digest.
- Protection: Breast milk helps your baby fight off sickness and disease. After birth, the first milk your breasts make is called colostrum. It helps to stop harmful germs that can make your baby sick. Colostrum does this by coating your baby’s digestive system so that germs have no place to grow. This protection is even more important if your baby is born early (premature).
Breastfeeding helps reduce the chance your baby will: have diarrhea, ear infections or lung infections, die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS, be overweight or obese when they are older
- Brain power: Research shows that children who were breastfed score higher on intelligence (IQ) tests. They may even stay in school longer and earn more money at adults.
- Ready and portable: Breast milk is always fresh and exactly the right temperature. It is ready for your baby whenever they are ready to eat. You do not have to heat it, boil water or sterilize bottles. Since breast milk is always with you, travelling or shopping with your baby is easier.
- Size does not matter: The size of your breasts does not matter. Big or small, your breast will make enough milk for your baby. Breasts start to get ready for baby very early in pregnancy.
- Good for mothers too: Research shows that breastfeeding can protect mothers from many diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Your body uses energy to make milk, so breastfeeding can help you to lose the weight that you gained during pregnancy.
- Builds a special bond: The closeness and comfort of breastfeeding help you bond with your baby. It is one of the many things you can do to build a secure and loving relationship. Cuddling your baby can help your baby be more trusting and confident as they grow older.
- Advantages continue as the baby grows: Breast milk is so complete, that it is the only food or drink your baby needs for the first 6 months. As your baby grows, your breast milk will change to keep up with your baby’s needs.
- Good for the planet: Breastfeeding is good for your baby, for you and for the environment. Breast milk is made and delivered right to your baby – without any processing, chemical preservatives, packaging or waste.
- Easy on the budget: Breastfeeding saves you money. Having a baby can be expensive, so it is nice to know that breastfeeding is not! Breastfeeding could save you hundreds – or even thousands – of Naira.