Breastfeeding is a special gift you can give your baby.
While breastfeeding may be intuitive for babies and a natural process for the postpartum Mom, like any relationship sometimes the two connect and bond immediately, but often it is a relationship that requires support and patience.
I have often seen new Moms doubt their ability to breastfeed their new baby, thus questioning the desire to do so. “A wonder about one’s own abilities is simply a wonder; not necessarily a doubt.” New moms are definitely qualified to breastfeed their newborns, nature prepares their bodies so that the milk they supply will adapt to the changing needs of their growing baby. For example the first milk your breasts produce is called colostrum or “liquid gold”. It contains proteins, vitamins, minerals and antibodies that protect your newborn from bacteria and viruses.
The World Health Organization WHO and UNICEF recommend exclusive breastfeeding for six months. The longer you breastfeed, the greater the health benefits to mother and baby.
Benefits for Baby:
- Provides perfect infant nutrition
- Promotes increased IQ and brain development
- Protects against Crohn’s disease
- Decreases chances of developing allergies
- Decreases risk of ear infections
- Decreases risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Protects against respiratory infections
- Protects against diarrhoeal infections
- Protects against bacterial meningitis
- Lowers risk of developing certain cancers
- Decreases chances of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
- Less likely to contract Hodgkin’s disease
- Protects against vision defects
- Decreases chances of osteoporosis
- Assists in proper intestinal development
Benefits for Mom:
- Decreases risk of post-partum hemorrhage
- Delays return on menstrual cycles providing a period of natural infertility
- Helps moms to return to healthy body weight postpartum
- Decreases risk of breast and ovarian cancer
- Protects against osteoporosis
- Potentially decreases stress