World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7

Aug 5, 2021 by Goli Dargahi

The 7 days between 1st to 7th of August will be observed as the World Breastfeeding Week. It is organized by the WHO every year and governments, NGOs, and individuals across the world participate in it. The goal is to increase awareness about the importance of breastfeeding for both mother and child.

Breast milk is the natural, unequalled high balance of carbohydrate, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals that is easier to digest and absorb by the baby. Everyone knows that breast feeding is a precious God’s gift to mother but it’s always a big challenge for a first-time mother to understand how to feed, how much to feed, and when to feed, in order to to give best to her baby.

Newer generation mothers always face difficulties in balancing between old myths and modern lifestyle. So, breast feeding week is the best way to discuss this.

Nutritional supply for your baby

Mother’s milk contains just the right mix of nutrition that an infant and growing baby need for the healthy development of mind and body. The composition of human milk changes with the changing needs of the body. For example, right after birth the milk produced by the mammary glands called colostrums contains truly little sugar and lactose and is rich in protein, growth hormones and immunity builders suitable for the requirements of a small infant’s weak digestive system and unformed immunity.

Human milk contains the following nutrition (the ratio might change as the baby grows):

Protection from illnesses

When a baby is fed by mother’s milk, the foundation for a strong immunity that will last a lifetime is laid. Human milk provides the baby with antibodies; this is especially true in the case of colostrum. Since the mother has been exposed to viruses and bacteria during her lifetime, her immunity has produced antibodies and these seep into her milk and go into her child during breastfeeding. These antibodies create a defense wall at the baby’s throat, nose, and digestive tract. Mother’s milk will reduce the likelihood of common cold and flu, middle ear infection, digestive diseases, respiratory tract illnesses, allergies, celiac disease, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Breastfeeding also contributes to the health of mothers. It helps space children, reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer by as much as 25%. Breastfeeding women recover faster and easier from childbirth as hormone such as Oxytocin help the uterus to return to normalcy quicker and reduces Postpartum bleeding. The benefits also extend to effortlessly losing weight during pregnancy.

Proper weight gain

Obesity is a killer and breastfed babies are less likely to become obese later than formula-fed babies. Human milk ensures that babies have leptin in their bodies. This hormone is an appetite regulator.

While breastfeeding is a natural act, but it is also a learned behavior. Motivation and the right way of feeding a baby to give support to a mother for establishing and sustaining best breast-feeding practices is important.

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