Health

WEJULI MIKE: Importance of Breastfeeding on Babies’ Health

Mothers should be encouraged to always have time to breastfeed their children emphasizing exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months after the birth of the baby and complementary feeding after the 6 months.

Author; Wejuli Junior Mike

Most mothers these days have resorted to bottle feeding for their babies other than the recommended breastfeeding which affects the child’s health.

Undernutrition is estimated to be associated with 2.7 million child deaths annually or 45% of all childhood deaths. Infant and young feeding is a key area to improve child survival and promote healthy development. Globally, World Health Organization reports that 3 in 5 babies are not breastfed which means that few children receive nutritionally adequate and safe diet which affects normal growth. Over 820000 children could be saved every year among the under 5 who die if they are optimally breastfed.

However, many infants and children do not receive optimal feeding for example only about 44% of infants aged 0-6 months worldwide were exclusively breastfed over the period of 2015-2020. This leaves a large number of children vulnerable to infection and other health complications. Human milk is optimally designed to meet your baby’s needs for growth and development. Aside from the nutritional and digestive superiority of breastmilk over infant formulas, it also contains immune substances, growth factors, hormones, and enzymes which all support and contribute to the child’s development.

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The following are the outstanding reasons for breastfeeding your baby:

  • Digestibility: Perhaps most important, breast milk is the perfect food for a human baby’s digestive system especially the baby as its easily digestible.
  • Nutritious: Breast milk contains the vitamins and minerals that a newborn requires, and all of its components for example lactose, protein, and fat are easily digested by a newborn’s    immature system
  • Immunity: Breast milk contains antibodies that help protect infants from a wide variety of infectious diseases, including diarrhea. Studies suggest that breastfed babies are less likely to develop certain medical problems, including diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, and allergies. Breastfeeding may also decrease the chances that the child will become overweight or obese.
  • Emotional bond: Breastfeeding meets a variety of emotional needs for both moms and babies for example the skin-to-skin contact can enhance the emotional connection, and providing complete nourishment can help a new mother feel confident in her ability to care for her newborn.
  • Quicker healing for the mothers: Breast feeding is great for moms, too. It burns calories and helps shrink the uterus, so nursing moms get back into shape quicker and healthier.
  • Prevents cancer: Breastfeeding may also protect mom from breast and ovarian cancer as well as post-partum hemorrhage & anemia, increases birth spacing.
  • Avoids unnecessary expenses: Breastfeeding is cheap since expenses of buying nursing bras and pads, a breast pump, or other equipment are avoided. 
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Hence the parents especially the mothers should be encouraged that breastfeeding is very important for the proper development of the newborn child. Hence mothers should be encouraged to always have time to breastfeed their children emphasizing exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months after the birth of the baby and complementary feeding after the 6 months.


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