The World Health Organisation as well as other health practitioners have continuously champion the need for exclusive breastfeeding for children as it has a whole lot of benefits to both the mother and the child. Also, it helps in child development up to adulthood. According the WHO recommendation, mothers are expected to breastfeed their child exclusively for up to 6 months. Also it is encouraged that mothers should continue breastfeeding their child till when they are two years and beyond.
Although after 6 months, mothers are allowed to feed their babies other foods alongside breast milk. Some mothers uses baby formula for their kids after 2 weeks or 2 months of breastfeeding. Such thing is not beneficial to the child’s development and giving baby formula has its own implications as it is not reliable. Here are 9 benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.
- Breast milk boost the baby’s immune system: Breast milk has all the nutrients a baby needs for healthy development. When a baby is exclusively breastfed by the mother, the milk provides the child with a strong immune system which protect the baby against diseases like pneumonia or diarrhea which is seen to be the main cause death in children. One important thing to note is that a mother who has tested positive for Covid-19 can still breastfeed her child and physical contact does not affect the baby as the breast milk increase the baby’s immune system to fight against such disease. If you doubt it you can verify from a qualified pediatrician.
- It aids birth control: Exclusive breast feeding is seen as a natural method of birth control for at least for the next six months or for the period in which you breastfeed your child.
- It improves the health condition of mothers: Exclusive breastfeeding reduces the risk of diseases like breast cancer, type II diabetes and Postpartum depression.
- Exclusive breastfeeding increases the baby’s IQ: An adult that was exclusively breastfed when he was a baby tend to be very intelligent and smart.
- It reduces obesity in children: Also it is important to note that a baby that is exclusively breastfed is less likely to be overweight or obese when he turns an adult.
- The mother loses weight: Breastfeeding burns 500-600 calories a day. This means that the mother can burn fat without having to exercise which is a good thing.
- Mother first milk contains special protein: The first milk a mother feeds a new born contains special protein which coats the baby’s intestinal tract and it also shields the baby from contracting harmful bacteria.
- There are Serotonin in breast milk: Breast milk contain Serotonin which is a hormone that makes your baby sleep.
- It saves time and money: Breastfeeding saves time and money, as the mother may not need to buy baby formula and spend so much time sterilizing the baby’s feeding bottle.