In August we celebrate women and to start it of, the first week in August (1 – 7 August )is World Breastfeeding Week. I think this is very special! The purpose of this campaign is to promote breastfeeding and to give parents and the community information and support regarding breastfeeding. In this post I’ll talk about two things, the benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby and the meaning of exclusive breastfeeding. Lets get into it.
Why Breast is Best
Benefits for Baby
- Breast milk contains antibodies from the mother, meaning that the baby will receive their “first immunization” by just breastfeeding.
- Their immune system gets a boost and they are less prone to become sick.
- Reduce the risk for type 1 and 2 diabetes, ear infection, asthma, high cholesterol levels, food allergies, being overweight later in life and constipation.
- Being fussy about foods later on.
- Promotes mother-child bonding.
- Perform better at school later in life.1, 2
Benefits for Mom
- Reduce risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
- Decreased menstrual blood loss and postpartum bleeding.
- Help with weight loss and return to pre-pregnancy weight.
- Quickens the process of the uterine returning to its normal size (uterine involution).
- Decrease risk for osteoporosis.1, 2
You may hear dietitians, doctors and nurses talk about exclusive breastfeeding, this refers to the practice of only giving giving your baby breast milk for the first 6 months. This means that the baby will only drink breast milk, no water or tea. The only other thing allowed is medicine that is prescribed by a doctor. Why? Because the baby’s gut is not yet mature enough to digest other food or drinks and it may lead to baby getting sick. If you decide on formula feeding, it should be given in the same way, no extra water or tea.
My final words…
Remember it is every mother’s own choice if she’ll breast feed or not. We don’t judge. Just also keep in mind that the media, celebrities and influencers will tell you their stories and you might feel the need to rather reach for the bottle. Please don’t be influenced by them! Breastfeeding is an amazing and special time between mom and baby, it’s unique to women and something to be cherished. The choice stays your own!
Enjoy women’s month and let us know what you love about being a women!
- Mahan, L. K., Escott-Stump, S., Raymond, J. L. & Krause, M. V. 2012. Krause’s food & the nutrition care process. 13th ed. Missouri: Elsevier Health Sciences.
- Whitney, E. & Rolfes, S.R. 2013. Understanding Nutrition. 13th ed. Wadsword, Cengage Learning: Belmont.