Babies & ToddlersKids

The benefits of breastfeeding

There is nothing as beautiful as the sight of a new born baby latching on tight to a mother’s breast and sucking. Breastfeeding has many benefits and enhances bonding between mother and child. The warmth and security of skin to skin contact, eye and voice contact plus the stimulation of the taste and smell senses …

There is nothing as beautiful as the sight of a new born baby latching on tight to a mother’s breast and sucking. Breastfeeding has many benefits and enhances bonding between mother and child. The warmth and security of skin to skin contact, eye and voice contact plus the stimulation of the taste and smell senses of the baby are just a few of the many benefits. Babies thrive on a healthy and abundant supply of breast milk.

The benefits unpack

It is such a pity there are some women who want to go through the experience but are unable to because some babies are born lactose intolerant or don’t have sufficiently developed sucking reflexes. After delivering your baby, doctors promote that you breastfeed your child because of the abundant advantages. If ever you thought you were going to bottle feed your child from the time they are born, here are benefits that will make you change your mind.

The advantages of breastfeeding for your baby

Experts maintain that in order to enhance optimum growth and development, mother’s milk is the best and most nutritious food for your baby. If you child cries endlessly due to colic, constipation and diarrhoea, the solution may be staring you in the face- breast milk. It is easily digested by the immature digestive and excretory systems. Because breast milk contains antibodies and living cells, it provides protection and immunity to many infections, such as viral infections like polio and respiratory tract, ear and intestinal infections. Other benefits include:

  • It contains unique proteins and fats which stimulate brain development.
  • It lowers risk of allergies, such as eczema and asthma.
  • Baby experiences less nappy rash and thrush.
  • It is constantly available at the right temperature and cannot be contaminated.
  • Promotes proper jaw and teeth development.
  • Long-term health benefits include less malnutrition, less obesity and less heart disease in adulthood.

Advantages for the mother

Our grandmothers and mothers breastfed us yet there are people who always throw negative comments and find breastfeeding repulsive and not for public viewing. It’s sad that moms have to put up with comments like that in this day and age. As a mom don’t let the negative comments get the better of you. There is nothing wrong or indecent in exposing your breasts in public when nursing because breasts were intended to give food to babies. Instead focus on the beautiful experience and benefits like the fact that you get to bond with your baby, leading to emotional satisfaction and a feeling of well-being. When you breastfeed, a substance called oxytocin is released which causes the uterus to contract, minimising bleeding and the uterus returning to its pre-pregnant state faster. Other advantages are that it:

  • Decreases risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer.
  • Because it is readily available, it requires less preparation and equipment making it convenient when travelling and easier when socialising.
  • Formula is expensive making breast milk economical

Donate breast milk

The South African Breast Milk Reserve is always looking for moms to support their Breast Milk Drive. If you would like to start your own breast milk bank they will assist where they can. All donors need to be healthy, live in a stable hygienic home environment, with access to a fridge and a freezer and donations will receive no remuneration Breast milk banking is currently available in Johannesburg and Durban but other moms can contact them for information on breast milk banking in their region on www.sabr.org.za .    

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