Breastfeeding is a highly effective method for ensuring the health and survival of children. Despite recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO), fewer than 50% of infants under six months old are exclusively breastfed.
Breast milk is the optimal nourishment for infants, offering safety, and antibodies that guard against common childhood illnesses. It supplies all the necessary energy and nutrients for the initial months of life, contributing to at least half of a child's nutritional needs in the first four months to six months.
Children who are breastfed tend to have a lower risk of being overweight or obese, and are less susceptible to diabetes later in life. Additionally, mothers who breastfeed experience a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
Benefits for the baby:
- Offers optimal nutrition tailored to fulfill your baby's requirements for growth and development.
- Shields against numerous infections, potentially averting certain infant fatalities.
- Protection against bladder and ear infections.
- Lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS/SUIDs).
- Diminishes the likelihood of allergies and disorders like juvenile-onset diabetes, particularly in families with a relevant history.
- Conditions bodily systems that might contribute to regulating blood pressure and decreasing the risk of obesity in the future.
Benefits for the mother:
- Breastfeeding accelerates postpartum recovery, aiding in quicker return to pre-pregnancy weight compared to non-breastfeeding moms.
- Reduced risk of breast cancer and certain forms of ovarian cancer.
- Reduced vaginal bleeding and a faster return of the uterus to its normal size are observed in breastfeeding mothers.
- Breastfeeding moms experience lower rates of breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and depression.
- Breast milk's convenience is unparalleled, easily accessible, requiring no prior preparation, always available at the right temperature whenever and wherever your baby needs it.
- It's a cost-effective choice as your body adapts to your baby's needs, ensuring a continuous and free supply of breast milk.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF advise that infants should commence breastfeeding within the initial hour of birth and exclusively rely on breast milk for the first six months of life, excluding any other foods or liquids, even water.
It is recommended that infants breastfeed whenever they desire, day or night, with no use of bottles, teats, or pacifiers.
Starting from six months, children should incorporate safe and suitable complementary foods into their diet while sustaining breastfeeding for up to two years or longer.
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