Every year since 1990, the first week of August is celebrated as the World Breastfeeding Week. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF and other organizations for protecting, promoting and supporting the natural source of food for newborns – breast milk.
In this article, we wish to share the benefits of breastfeeding and hope to encourage new mothers to go ahead and experience the positivity. Read on to know more.
- Benefits of Breastfeeding
- How can I ensure financial aid with health insurance?
Benefits of Breastfeeding
#1 The best source of nutrition for the new-born
Breast milk is the only natural food source for your baby. Since it is nutrient-rich, high-protein, low-fat and easily digestible, your baby gets the amount of required nutrition for his/her growth. This “liquid gold” should be fed to the baby for at least the first 6 months of its life. Later, a combination of milk and solid food can progressively be introduced in due course of time.
#2 Reduced risk of postpartum depression in the mother
Recent studies have shown that a new mother goes through a series of powerful emotions ranging from excitement to pure joy to depression. But when you are breastfeeding your baby, you are at reduced risk of experiencing mood swings, crying spells, anxiety or sleep difficulty. Lactation helps your body release the feel-good hormone that helps in elevating your overall mood. It also helps you and your new-born bond better.
#3 Promotes immunity against diseases
Breast milk is the best source of diseases-preventing antibodies for the baby. Especially colostrum or the “first milk”, helps your baby fight off germs and bacteria keeping diseases at bay. Along with several different antibodies, breast milk is especially rich in immunoglobulin A (IgA). It helps the baby form a protective layer in his/her nose, throat and digestive system. This acts as a solution to prevent pneumonia, diarrhea or other infections.
#4 Helps the uterus contract in a proper manner
It is observed that a uterus grows about 500 times its original size during pregnancy. It not only increases in size but also in weight. After childbirth, it should return to its original size with time. This is where breastfeeding proves to be helpful. It promotes the growth of oxytocin that helps the uterus shrink to its previous size.
#5 Promotes post-pregnancy weight loss
Lactating mothers need a high level of nutrition and energy. Their energy demands are about 500 additional calories per day. They also have high metabolism rates and increased appetite. The overall effect results in the use of fat deposits in the body. This in-turn promotes weight loss. The effect may be more prominent after the first three months of childbirth. Factors like a balanced diet and exercise also play a part in the amount of weight loss experienced.
#6 Lowers the risk of breast cancer
There is a direct link between breast cancer and feeding. When a woman breastfeeds, she tends to shed breast tissue and generate new ones. This helps in removing cells with potential DNA damage resulting in a lower risk of cancer. Moreover, it is beneficial for both the baby and mother to continue feeding after the recommended period of 6 months. Doing so will help in reducing the risk of not only breast cancer but also ovarian cancers.
How can I ensure financial aid with health insurance?
If you are looking to receive financial aid for pregnancy and childbirth you should search for health insurance with maternity coverage. These health insurance plans are designed to take care of the expenses related to delivery and the newborn baby. Usually, health insurance with maternity coverage is available under family floater or individual health insurance plans. However, the health insurance provided by your employer may also have this benefit. Buying health insurance is the easiest way of ensuring financial safety for you and your newborn baby.
The Bottom Line
In the age of artificial food supplements and growth hormones, providing your baby with the most reliable source of food is the best way of ensuring natural growth and well being.
Now that you know the true benefits of breastfeeding, don’t hesitate in sharing this article and spreading the knowledge not only in this week but whenever possible.
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