Breastfeeding is an ethereal experience exclusive to mothers, and if you are a mother, you can relate to this heavenly feeling. There are multifold benefits of breastfeeding for both child and mother. 
August 1st -7th is celebrated as the World breastfeeding week every year. According to UNICEF, “Breastfeeding is among the most effective ways to protect mother and child health and promote healthy growth and optimal development.”

Benefits of breastfeeding

As we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, let’s look at the numerous advantages of breastfeeding.

  • Provides greater immunity

Breast milk helps to build the immunity of the child and mother. It protects children against infections, cancers, obesity, allergies, etc. 

  • Help lose weight

For mothers, breastfeeding a child helps in the fast reduction of weight. 

  • Promotes healthy growth

A child’s balanced growth is directly proportional to breast milk. Breast milk is abundant in all the nutrients required for a baby’s growth.

  • Reduces postpartum bleeding

Lactation can reduce postpartum bleeding, and some women tend to experience this over a month.

  • Protection against cancer and osteoporosis

Breastfeeding can protect against various cancers like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, etc. It can also prevent osteoporosis.

Even Though there are several evidence-based advantages of breastfeeding, only 25-40% of babies get breastfeeding. It is due to the change in lifestyle where mothers have become working women. Some countries offer good maternity leave, whereas others do not. The hospitals in the USA have small refrigerators to store mother’s breast milk.

Breastmilk substitutes are not as effective as breast milk. However, these are available in the market and have a high demand. 

An unfashionable act during the 17th Century

It is surprising to know that breastfeeding was an unfashionable thing during the Renaissance period! Hence it gave rise to feeding bottles and formula milk. 

However, in the 19th Century, communicable diseases increased, and the infant mortality rate rose. Since then, there has been a push for breastfeeding. 

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA)

WABA was launched in 1991 to create awareness on breastfeeding. In 1992, WABA, in association with UNICEF, introduced the World Breastfeeding Week to promote breastfeeding. Since then, we celebrate the first week of August as The World Breastfeeding Week. 

There is a development of bonding between mother and child through breastfeeding, and mother nature has created each individual for a purpose and well-defined roles. In addition, breast milk is a physical and emotional need for a newborn baby. It even helps to cure various unexplained difficulties in a newborn baby.

This week, let’s pledge to support breastfeeding and look forward to encouraging women to breastfeed their babies. 

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/index.htm

https://www.who.int/health-topics/breastfeeding

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