10 Benefits Of Breastfeeding

Every woman’s journey to motherhood is different, but one of the first decisions a new mother makes is based on breastfeeding.Lets take a look at some benefits of breastfeeding.

Breast milk is the best food to help your baby to grow and develop, and it is recommended that breastfeeding continue for at least the first 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired. Breastfeeding is an experience that can bring a mother and child closer to one another, also babies that are well breastfed are stronger, healthier and grow faster.

Mamalette these are some of the benefits of breastfeeding:

1. A Healthy Baby

Breast milk contains immunities to diseases and helps in the development of baby’s immune system.  Breastfeeding therefore protects your baby.

2. Bonding Between Mother And Baby

During breastfeeding there is skin to skin contact which helps many nursing mothers bond with their babies. This skin-to-skin contact can enhance the emotional connection between a mother and her baby.

3. Satisfies Baby’s Emotional Needs

Babies need to be held.  It is comforting for infants to be held close and cuddled while they are being breastfeeding. Breastfeeding your baby helps him or her develop emotional stability.

4. Nutrients And Protection

Naturally, breast milk contains many of the vitamins and minerals that a newborn requires except Vitamin D, so all breastfed babies should begin receiving vitamin D supplements during the first 2 months and continuing until the baby is a year old.

5. Breastfeeding Enhances Vaccine Effectiveness

Infants who are breastfed showed a great serum and secretory responses to peroral and parenteral vaccines than infants who are formula-fed. So after vaccination, it is advised you breast feed your baby.

6. Helps Pass Meconium

When babies are born, they are born with a sticky tar-like substance called meconium in their intestines. The first milk or colostrum helps move this substance through the infant’s body.

7. Free Of Charge

Breastfeeding saves you money! With breastfeeding you don’t have to spend a kobo and unless you’re pumping breast milk and giving it to your baby, there’s no need for bottles, nipples, and other supplies that can cost you money.

8. Beneficial For Mom

Helps mom lose baby weight after birth, prevent post-partum hemorrhage, and if you are breastfeeding your baby exclusively it serves as a natural contraceptive.

9. Sharp Brain

Some studies suggest that children who were exclusively breastfed have slightly higher IQs than children who were formula fed. There is strong evidence that children who were breastfed score higher on IQ tests, as well as on teacher ratings of their academic performance.

10. Easy To Digest

Infants can easily digest human milk more easily than the milk of other animals, this may be because human milk contains an enzyme that aids digestion.

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How to Ensure Your Baby Is Gaining A Healthy Weight After Birth

After the birth of a baby the parent’s concern then shifts to making sure the baby is gaining weight and growing both physically and intellectually like the baby is supposed to. Growth is a good indicator of general health, and babies who are growing well are generally healthy, while poor growth can be a sign of a problem.

Doctors will keep track of weight, length, and head size. According to Kidshealth, a new born baby born at 37 and 40 weeks usually weighs 2.5kg-4kg.The length of the pregnancy is important. Babies born around their due date or later tend to be larger than those born earlier. Other factors that can affect a baby’s weight include:

  • Premature babies generally are smaller and lighter than other newborns. A preemie’s weight will be largely determined by how early he or she was born.
  • Genetics
  • Multiple births,
  • First babies are sometimes smaller than brothers or sisters born later.
  • Girls tend to be smaller, boys larger, but the differences are slight at birth.
  • Mother’s health during pregnancy
  • Nutrition during pregnancy
  • Medical problems and certain infections acquired during the pregnancy, can affect a child’s birth weight and later growth.

Valerie Marchand, is a Pediatric Gastroenterologist and chair of the Canadian Paediatric Society’s Nutrition and Gastroenterology Committee. She was part of a group that recommended the use of new growth charts developed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Growth charts examine length and weight in boys and girls, from birth to thirty-six months.  In the first few days after birth, babies normally lose weight, then get back to their birth weight by about 10 days. Marchand suggests that parents should be aware that a baby’s birth weight depends more on the mother’s diet and health during pregnancy. While slow-gaining babies tend to get the most attention, there are new concerns about babies who gain quickly. “You need to look at height as well as weight,” says Marchand.

Paediatrician and breastfeeding expert Jack Newman said, “the first step is often to improve the way the baby latches on to the breast”. “When the baby is not drinking much, using compression can help,” he adds. To determine how your baby’s measurements compare with those of other babies born after the same length of pregnancy, your paediatrician will refer to a growth chart. Always refer to your baby’s pediatrician and listen to them concerning how to maintain a healthy weight for your baby.

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