Did you know that only 40% of infants globally under the age of six months are exclusively breastfed?
Given the various benefits of breastfeeding, the figure is disturbingly low. In addition, research shows that breastfeeding for at least six months can help prevent over 800,000 child deaths each year. This fascinating evidence shows how important breastfeeding is and why it demands the greatest amount of attention and care.
Breastfeeding has long been acknowledged as an essential and irreplaceable practice that benefits both infants and moms. It is extremely important since it provides incomparable nutritional richness and aids in proper growth and development.
Breastfeeding has a significant impact on the lives of individuals and society as a whole, from disease prevention to bonding and emotional connection. In addition, it helps to reduce the incidence of chronic diseases and promotes environmental sustainability. Join me as I share the seven main reasons why breastfeeding is so important.
Firstly, breast milk has unmatched nutritional superiority. It is a carefully balanced blend of vitamins, protein, lipids, and antibodies tailored to the needs of a baby.
In comparison to formula-fed infants, studies have shown that breastfed infants have lower rates of obesity, malnutrition, and certain vitamin deficiencies.
Optimal Growth and Development
Breastfeeding is especially important for proper growth and development. It contains important nutrients and bioactive substances that are necessary for the brain, nervous system, and overall physical growth of a baby. Research consistently demonstrates that breastfed infants tend to have higher IQ scores and are less likely to experience developmental problems.
Breast milk protects the baby’s immune system by acting as a natural shield against illnesses and infections. It has been associated with a 20% decrease in infant mortality, as well as protecting newborns from illnesses and infections.
It contains antibodies and living cells that aid in the prevention of a variety of conditions, including respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, ear infections, and meningitis. Infants who are breastfed are shielded from developing lifelong chronic conditions like asthma, allergies, obesity, and diabetes.
Also, breastfeeding is essential for supporting digestive health. Breast milk is easily absorbed by a baby’s undeveloped digestive system, lowering the chances of constipation, diarrhoea, and gastroenteritis. It also increases the growth of beneficial intestinal flora, which aids with digestion.
Bonding and Emotional Connection
In addition to supplying nutrition, breastfeeding creates a strong emotional bond between the mother and infant. During breastfeeding, physical intimacy and skin-to-skin contact release hormones that increase feelings of love, connection, and emotional well-being in both parties.
This significant bonding experience lays the foundation for the formation of solid attachments and healthy relationships.
Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases
Breastfeeding is also beneficial to the baby’s long-term health. According to research, breastfed babies have a lower risk of growing up to suffer chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and several cancers. By laying a strong foundation for lifetime well-being, breastfeeding paves the way for a healthier future.
Lastly, breastfeeding helps to ensure environmental sustainability. Breastfeeding, unlike formula feeding, does not necessitate the production, packaging, and transportation of formula, hence lowering the overall carbon footprint.
Breast milk is a resource that can be replenished and is perfectly suited for the purpose, which saves resources and minimises waste.
In conclusion, breastfeeding has numerous advantages that go far beyond nourishment. Its nutritional superiority, involvement in optimum growth and development, disease prevention, digestive health advantages, bonding and emotional connection, ability to lower the risk of chronic diseases, and contributions to environmental sustainability make it an essential practice to prioritise. To ensure that all moms and infants have access to the profound benefits that breastfeeding provides, society needs to acknowledge and encourage breastfeeding.
Researched By: Aduloju Oluwatoyosi Afolabi