The Importance of Exclusive Breastfeeding

The importance of exclusive breastfeeding

The Importance of Exclusive Breastfeeding

The Importance of Exclusive Breastfeeding. Exclusive breastfeeding, since its introduction into the healthcare system has become a pivot in the area of baby care. Now, it is being promoted all over the world and the month of August happens to be that month in which mothers are sensitized and educated on its importance. In this article, we seek to provide you with 10 essential importance of exclusive breastfeeding. We hope you find this information useful and beneficial

The Importance of Exclusive Breastfeeding

1. Nutrition for Baby

Exclusive breastfeeding provides newborns with all the necessary nutrients and antibodies they need for healthy growth and development. Breast milk is easily digestible and contains essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that support brain development and boost the immune system [1].

2. Disease Protection

Breast milk contains antibodies that help protect babies from various illnesses, including respiratory tract infections, ear infections, and gastrointestinal infections [2]. The natural immunity provided by breast milk can reduce the risk of allergies, asthma, and chronic diseases later in life [3].

3. Bonding and Emotional Connection

Breastfeeding promotes a strong emotional bond between a mother and her baby. The skin-to-skin contact and the act of breastfeeding itself release feel-good hormones like oxytocin, which helps create a close and loving connection between mother and child [4].

4. Better Weight Management

   Exclusive breastfeeding can aid in weight management for both mother and baby. Breastfeeding requires energy, which helps mothers burn calories and return to their pre-pregnancy weight [5]. It also reduces the risk of childhood obesity and helps regulate a baby’s appetite and food intake [6].

5. Reduced Risk of Postpartum Depression

Breastfeeding releases hormones that promote relaxation and reduce stress. Research suggests that breastfeeding can lower the risk of postpartum depression, improve maternal mental health, and increase feelings of well-being [7].

The Importance of Exclusive Breastfeeding

6. Ovarian and Breast Cancer Protection

Studies have shown that women who breastfeed have a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer [8]. The longer a woman breastfeeds, the greater the protection against these types of cancers [9]. Breastfeeding can also lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease [10].

7. Convenient and Economical

Breast milk is readily available, always at the right temperature, and doesn’t require any preparation or sterilization. Breastfeeding also saves money on formula, feeding supplies, and medical expenses, making it an economical choice [11].

8. Environmentally Friendly

Breastfeeding has a minimal environmental impact compared to formula feeding, as it doesn’t require the production, packaging, and disposal of formula cans and bottles. It helps reduce waste and promote sustainability [12].

9. Natural Birth Spacing

Exclusive breastfeeding has been shown to have a natural contraceptive effect, known as lactational amenorrhea. It can delay the return of ovulation, helping couples with birth spacing [13]. However, it’s important to note that this method is not foolproof and may not be reliable for everyone. The importance of exclusive breast feeding thus works wonders for many people.

10. Promotes Maternal Health

Breastfeeding can help reduce the risk of postpartum hemorrhage, accelerate the uterus’ return to pre-pregnancy size, and lower the risk of developing osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis later in life [14]. It also provides a natural form of birth control for women who practice ecological breastfeeding [15].

The Importance of Exclusive Breastfeeding

Sources

The Importance of Exclusive Breastfeeding

[1]: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). (2012). Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. Pediatrics, 129(3), e827-e841. PubMed

[2]: Victora CG, Bahl R, Barros AJ, et al. (2016). Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. The Lancet, 387(10017), 475-490. PubMed

[3]: Horta BL, Loret de Mola C, Victora CG. (2015). Long-term consequences of breastfeeding on cholesterol, obesity, systolic blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta Paediatrica, 104(467), 30-37. PubMed

[4]: Feldman R, Eidelman AI. (2007). Direct and indirect effects of breast milk on the neurobehavioral and cognitive development of premature infants. Developmental Psychobiology, 49(7), 74-91. PubMed

[5]: Dewey KG. (1998). Energy and protein requirements during lactation. Annual Review of Nutrition, 18, 19-36. PubMed

[6]: Krol KM, Grossmann T. (2018). Psychological effects of breastfeeding on children and mothers. Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz, 61(8), 977-985. PubMed

[7]: Dennis CL, Dowswell T. (2013). Psychosocial and psychological interventions for preventing postpartum depression. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2(2), CD001134. PubMed

[8]: Islami F, Liu Y, Jemal A, et al. (2020). Breastfeeding and breast cancer risk by receptor status—a systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Oncology, 31(1), 40-48. PubMed

[9]: Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer. (2002). Breast cancer and breastfeeding: collaborative reanalysis of individual data from 47 epidemiological studies in 30 countries, including 50302 women with breast cancer and 96973 women without the disease. The Lancet, 360(9328), 187-195. PubMed

[10]: Gunderson EP. (2010). Breastfeeding after gestational diabetes pregnancy: subsequent obesity and type 2 diabetes in women and their offspring. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, 26(2), 97-105. PubMed

[11]: Schwarz EB, Šunjic S, Haas JS, et al. (2015). Obstetricians’ practices and attitudes regarding perinatal infection: results from a national survey. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 36(6), 699-701. PubMed

[12]: Stuebe AM. (2009). The Risks of Not Breastfeeding for Mothers and Infants. Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2(4), 222-231. PubMed

[13]: Labbok MH, Song K. (2008). Maternal resting energy expenditure is increased during lactation. Journal of Nutrition, 138(12), 2387-2390. PubMed

[14]: Brown CR, Dodds L, Legge A, et al. (2002). Factors associated with breastfeeding duration: a population-based study. Pediatrics, 110(6), e67. PubMed

[15]: Labbok MH. (2004). Effects of Breastfeeding on the Mother. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 51(2), 263-281. PubMed14:52

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