Breastfeeding acts like the first vaccine for a new-born, protecting the infant from potentially deadly ailments and further giving them the nourishment that they need to survive and grow
According to a new report by the United Nations, nearly one lakh children die in India due to diseases that could have been prevented through breastfeeding. Breastfeeding acts like the first vaccine for a new-born, protecting the infant from potentially deadly ailments and further giving them the nourishment that they need to survive and grow. The report also attributes inadequate breastfeeding to higher mortality and other losses that could cost the country's economy an amount as huge as USD 14 billion.
"Breastfeeding is one of the most effective - and cost effective - investments nations can make in the health of their youngest members and the future health of their economies and societies," said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. "By failing to invest in breastfeeding, we are failing mothers and their babies - and paying a double price: in lost lives and in lost opportunity." "Breastfeeding gives babies the best possible start in life," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Mother's milk indeed makes for best source of nutrition for a newborn. It has the perfect mix of fat, proteins and minerals. Breastfeeding is only healthy for the baby, but also for the mother. According to a study, breastfeeding has the potential to reduce long term risks of type-2 diabetes among women with gestational diabetes. Here are some benefits of breastfeeding for the baby and the mother.
1. Fastens the process of digestion in babies
Breastfed babies are less prone to constipation as their mother's milk is easily digestible and does not take time to pass through their system.
2. Caters to healthier bones in babies
Breastmilk has a generous amount of calcium that helps build stronger bones and teeth in infants.
3. Babies are lesser prone to infections
Breastmilk has many anti-bacterial properties that protect the babies from contracting various infections, further building their immunity system.
4. Reduces risk of cancer in mothers
Experts have linked breastfeeding with lower risk of endometrial cancer. Breastfeeding and early lactation have previously been linked with lowering the risk of breast cancer in women.
5. Induces weight loss in mothers
While breastfeeding their babies, mothers tend to lose some amount of calories, which help them lose some of the weight they may have gained during pregnancy.