Benefits of Exclusive Breastfeeding

    Benefits to the Baby

    1.          Exclusive breastfeeding boosts the immune system of a baby. Immunoglobulin (immune system molecules) are passed on to the baby through breast milk from the mother and this Immunoglobulin is perfectly designed to fit the needs of the baby. This diminishes the babies’ chances of catching infections. Example, respiratory infections, ear infections or other illnesses.

    2.         Breast milk provides tailored nutrition to the baby hence exclusively breastfeeding your baby can ensure your baby has the key nutrients needed. Breast milk changes in composition naturally as the baby grows in order to be a perfect nutrient match, this cannot be fully gotten in any store-bought formula.

    3.         Exclusive breastfeeding reduces digestive stress. Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and risk of food allergies are also prevented when exclusive breastfeeding is practiced. Studies indicate that exclusive breast feeding does not only benefit a baby in his childhood, it also lowers the risk of crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in his adulthood.

    4.         Exclusive breastfeeding help babies avoid a host of diseases that strike later in life, such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and inflammatory bowel disease. In fact, babies exclusively breastfed, are less likely to have high blood pressure by the time they are teenagers.

    5.         Breast milk helps in cognitive development. Researchers have in a study of more than 17,000 infants followed from birth to 6 ½ years, concluded from IQ scores and other tests that infants who were exclusively breastfed, get all the adequate nutrients for the building of the brain and apart from genetic makeup, the babies have higher IQ scores and are smarter than others who were not exclusively breastfed or breastfed at all.

    Benefits to the Mother

    1.          Hormones (positive chemicals) secreted in the brain of the mother and carried throughout the body, helps to diminish stress to cope with the many adaptations and changes of first having a baby (Primary Gravidum). This is needed for the psychological well-being of the mother.

    2.         Breastfeeding diminishes post-pregnancy bleeding (postpartum hemorrhage) hence, doing it exclusively will ensure a quick reduction in bleeding. Exclusive breastfeeding stimulates the adequate release of oxytocin, a hormone which helps the uterus contract more quickly and lessen bleeding after birth. Oxytocin (known as the “love hormone”) also promotes bonding with your baby, and helps to strengthen the relationship you share.

    3.         Exclusive breastfeeding serves as a contraceptive method (birth control) for the first 6 months after birth. Hormonal balances created in your body while practicing exclusive breastfeeding, is not conducive for another pregnancy before 6 months thereby postponing the return of your period.

    4.         Practitioners of exclusive breastfeeding find it easier to lose weight. Calories are burnt every time new breast milk is produced (approximately, 500 calories per day) and this enables the nursing mother who practice exclusive breastfeeding in addition to eating a balanced diet to shed pounds of weight. So no extra cost on chemical weight loss products which might harm you in the end.

    5.         Mothers save money by breastfeeding. In exclusive breastfeeding, there is no need to buy bottles, replacement nipples, refill bags, bottle cleaners or even the different kinds of formula that is needed to feed a baby. Infant feeding is estimated to cost about $1, 733.75 (GHc 10, 012.57) in the first year only whereas exclusive breastfeeding cost $0. Visits to pediatricians for potential illness will be reduced significantly hence more money will be saved.

    How Society Benefits

        Exclusive breastfeeding is known to increase the IQ of babies, this goes a long way to increase the child’s chances of becoming a positive impact on the society. The baby could become someone of a high rank in the society. Example, President, minister, teacher, scientist, nurse or even a banker.

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