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The Significance of Breastfeeding

The Significance of Breastfeeding

25 June 2024

  • Contains rich colostrum
  • Customized for nutritional needs and has diverse flavors
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Protects from inflammations and infections
  • Prevents Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Reduces the need for teeth straightening
  • Helps the cognitive development
  • Reinforces the mother-baby bond
  • It is soothing
  • Reduces the risk of chronic diseases
  • 1
    Contains rich colostrum

    The first milk produced after labor, the colostrum, is rich with proteins and antibodies, essential for the baby's health. It provides protection against infectious diseases and promotes a friendly bacterial environment (microbiome), promoting inflammation prevention, obesity prevention, and the development of the brain and digestive systems.

  • 2
    Customized for nutritional needs

    Breast milk contains nutrients that are tailored to the baby's needs and help them grow and develop properly. Essential nutrients, such as iron, are absorbed optimally. As babies grow, breast milk constantly changes to meet their needs. Although babies receive their nutrients through breastfeeding, supplementation with vitamin D and iron is recommended for babies from the age of 4 months. You should also take some additives: folic acid, iron, vitamin D, and iodine.

  • 3
    Strengthens the immune system

    Breast milk contains numerous components that are vital for the development of the baby's immune system early in life. Breast milk provides protection against diseases in the short and long run.

  • 4
    Protects against inflammations and infections

    Through breast milk, the mother transfers antibodies to bacteria and viruses that may cause diseases (for instance, the flu or COVID-19). Therefore, breast milk reduces the risk of infectious diseases in the digestive system, the respiratory system, and ear infections.

  • 5
    Prevents Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

    Studies have shown that breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS.

  • 6
    Reduces the risk of chronic diseases

    Breastfeeding reduces the risk of obesity later in life and other chronic diseases, including type-1 diabetes and Krohn.

  • 7
    Reduces the need for teeth straightening

    Breastfeeding reduces the risk of an oral malocclusion, and potentially prevents costly and uncomfortable teeth alignment in the future.

  • 8
    Helps the cognitive development

    Numerous studies have shown that breastfeeding has a positive impact on the baby’s cognitive development.

  • 9
    Reinforces the mother-baby bond

    Touch and the hormonal system triggered during breastfeeding reinforce the bond between you and your baby.

  • 10
    It is soothing

    Breastfeeding has a calming effect on your baby. The presence of melatonin in breast milk, which increases at night, assists in establishing the day-night rhythm.

  • 11
    Offers diverse tastes

    The flavor of breast milk varies based on your diet, and helps infants become familiar with different food flavors that will be introduced to their diet later on.

Remember

Remember

Breastfeeding also has economic, environmental, and practical benefits

  • 1
    Saves money

    Breast milk is a natural and free resource. Breastfeeding saves expenses on baby formula, bottles, and other equipment.

  • 2
    Saves time and energy

    Breastfeeding eliminates the need to heat and sterilize bottles, and saves time, electricity, and water.

  • 3
    Protects the environment

    Breastfeeding reduces the environmental impact of producing and distributing formulas, as it decreases the air pollution created due to their delivery, as well as the quantity of disposed packaging.

  • 4
    Improves work efficiency

    Studies have shown that because breast milk protects babies from infections and illnesses, the number of work absences of parents to breastfed babies is lower.

Questions you may have asked yourself

Once maternity leave ends, breastfeeding is typically already established, so you can continue breastfeed even after your return to work. If you want, you can pump milk and have the daycare staff feed to your baby, or you may leave in the middle of the day to breastfeed, if you are allowed to do so. If necessary, you can consult a lactation consultant on how to balance work and continue breastfeeding in the best manner possible.
For more information, read about breastfeeding and returning to work or pumps and pumping breastmilk.

  • Consult a lactation specialist, and the Breastfeeding Medicine Society.
  • If the instruction to avoid breastfeeding is temporary, consider maintaining the breastfeeding ability by pumping (without using the milk).
  • If you are instructed to avoid breastfeeding altogether, you should prepare for this and consider the options available to you, such as pumping and storing breastmilk. You can consult a professional.
    Read more about weaning from breastfeeding.

If you do not want or are unable to breastfeed, but want to feed your baby breastmilk, you can try various options instead of direct breastfeeding, such as a combination of breastfeeding and pumping, or pumping and feeding your baby the pumped milk – to still gain the dietary and health benefits of breastmilk. If you feed your baby pumped milk, try to feed the baby as close as possible to the pumping, as fresh breastmilk has more of the health benefits. Freeze milk only when necessary.
For more information about pumping and storing breastmilk.

You need to know which bottle to buy, and how to handle and use pumps, bottles and infant formula correctly.