Importance of Breastfeeding?


Breastfeeding is a big part of being a mom. It’s a time filled with joy and excitement, but also plenty of questions and uncertainties. Breastfeeding importance is higlighted by various agencies around the world. Breastfeeding acts as the primary source of nutrition for your baby for the first 1 year. But sometimes, there can be challenges. Let’s see what our development expert Dr Clara Guru has to say about it.

So firstly, we will understand what breast milk is?

What is Breast milk?

Breast milk is nature’s perfect food for infants, containing an ideal blend of nutrients, antibodies, enzymes, and hormones tailored specifically for your baby’s needs. Colostrum, the first milk produced after birth, is rich in antibodies that provide essential protection against infections and diseases. As your milk supply increases, mature milk comes in, offering a higher volume and more calories to support your baby’s rapid growth and development.

Benefits of Breast Milk for the Baby

Breastfeeding provides numerous health benefits for babies, both immediately and in the long term. Beyond basic nutrition, breast milk contains antibodies and immune-boosting factors that help protect infants from a variety of illnesses and infections. Breastfed babies have lower rates of respiratory infections, ear infections, gastrointestinal issues, allergies, and even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Additionally, breast milk promotes optimal brain development and supports the growth of healthy muscle tissue.

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Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom

Breastfeeding also offers significant advantages for mothers. It aids in postpartum recovery by promoting uterine contractions and assisting in the shedding of excess weight gained during pregnancy. Long-term benefits include a reduced risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers, such as breast and ovarian cancer.

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Benefits for the Family

Breastfeeding benefits extend beyond individual mothers and babies to the entire family unit. Financial savings on formula expenses can be substantial, with breastfeeding families saving an average of 15000 INR annually. Moreover, breastfeeding supplies, such as breast pumps and lactation aids, may qualify for tax deductions, further easing the financial burden. Additionally, breastfeeding fosters a strong emotional bond between mother and baby, contributing to the overall well-being and cohesion of the family.

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Maintaining a Healthy Breastfeeding Diet– mOTHER

Maintaining a healthy breastfeeding diet is essential for both mother and baby. Focus on consuming a balanced variety of foods that provide the nutrients needed to support your milk production and overall well-being. Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your meals and snacks.

Aim to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, as dehydration can affect milk supply. While breastfeeding, it’s important to listen to your body’s hunger and thirst cues and eat whenever you feel hungry or thirsty. Additionally, consider incorporating breastfeeding-friendly foods known to support lactation, such as oats, fenugreek, and leafy greens, into your diet. Remember that maintaining a healthy diet is not about restriction but rather nourishing your body to support both you and your baby during this important stage of development.

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Addressing Potential Complications

While breastfeeding offers numerous benefits, it may come with challenges, such as nipple tenderness, breast engorgement, plugged ducts, or mastitis. However, with proper support and guidance from healthcare professionals, most breastfeeding complications can be effectively managed or resolved. Lactation consultants, doctors, and support groups can provide invaluable assistance and resources to overcome breastfeeding hurdles and ensure a positive experience for both mother and baby.

In essence, Dr. Clara Guru says breastfeeding is a remarkable journey that not only nourishes and nurtures your baby but also promotes maternal health, strengthens family bonds, and offers financial savings. With the right support and information, it can be a rewarding and empowering experience for mothers and families alike

Some tips on breastfeeding for new mothers

  • Latching On

Make sure your baby attaches well to your breast. This helps prevent soreness for you and ensures your baby gets enough milk.

  • Breastfeeding Right After Birth

Feed your baby within an hour of giving birth. This helps them stay healthy and lets them get used to breastfeeding early on.

  • Frequent Feeding

Newborns often need to breastfeed frequently, sometimes as often as every 1-3 hours. Respond promptly to your baby’s hunger cues, such as rooting, sucking on fists, or becoming more alert.

  • Let Your Baby Set the Routine

Watch for signs that your baby is hungry instead of sticking to a strict feeding schedule. Let your baby decide when they’re ready to eat.

  • Be Comfortable

Find a comfy position for both you and your baby while breastfeeding. This makes it more enjoyable for both of you. This could be a cradle hold, a football hold, or a side-lying position, among others. Experiment to find what works best for you.

  • Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Drink plenty of water, eat healthy foods, rest when you can, and avoid smoking or drinking alcohol. Always check with your doctor before taking any medicine while breastfeeding.

  • Take Care of Yourself

If you have any problems, like sore nipples or leaking milk, don’t worry. It’s normal, and there are ways to get help if you need it.

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Final Thoughts by Dr Clara Guru

In conclusion, Dr. Clara Guru emphasises that breastfeeding is a journey that requires patience, persistence, and self-care. Embrace the support available to you, trust your instincts, and know that it’s okay to seek help when needed. Cherish the precious moments of bonding with your baby, and celebrate the milestones along the way. By prioritising your well-being and nurturing your relationship, you’re providing your baby with the best start in life. You’ve got this, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

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  1. Why is Breastfeeding important for mother?
  2. At what intervals should Breastfeeding be done?

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