Breastfeeding: Wholesome Nourishment and Immunity Shield for Your Infant
Breastfeeding is that divine
nourishment which, nurtures, sustains and protects a newborn.They say “look
deep into nature and then you will understand everything”. A picture of a
mother breastfeeding a newborn baby truly portraits the above statement.
Breast-milk is natural
nourishment for an offspring, may it be a child, or offspring of other species.
Mother Nature has made the milk in the breast wholesome for the baby and has
prepared the baby’s body to digest it completely and properly.
As stated by Grantly Dick-Read, a
newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother,
food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence.
Breastfeeding satisfies all three.
Benefits of Breast Feeding for Newborn.
Breast-feeding is the first
vaccine that the baby receives. Apart from being a complete nutritional bundle,
mother’s milk is no less than a miracle. It is full of live antibodies that
help the child fight infections that they are susceptible to in the early
infancy period. When babies suckle on mother’s breast the live good bacteria on
the mother skin help establish good bacteria in the child’s intestines as well,
which not only helps in digestion, prevention of infections it also reduces the
possibility of allergies development in children.
The milk that is secreted by the
breast in the first two days is known as colostrum, it has a significant number
of live antibodies that protect the vulnerable newborn from getting infected
with bugs/viruses from the environment. Breast-feeding should be started
immediately after birth as colostrum is less in quantity and it should not be
Exclusive breastfeeding should be
continued for at least 4 to 6 months and breastfeeding along with other foods
should be continued at least till two years of age or maybe further.
Mother’s milk helps to develop a
healthy body and a happy soul of the baby. Replacement of breast-feeding by any
artificial means like bottle-feeding and formula feeding should be avoided, as
much as we can. With the number of assisted deliveries increasing breastfeeding
is being compromised. Breastfeeding is a mother's superpower and it is the most
precious gift a mother can give to her newborn.
Advantages of Breast Feeding for Mothers
No doubt lovingly nursing your
newborn by breastfeeding is a divine feeling in itself, however, breastfeeding
has multiple advantages for the nursing mother too.
Regular breastfeeding helps the
mother to regain the size of her uterus back to normal which is enlarged during
It also helps in reducing the
post-pregnancy weight for the Mother. Remember it is your cardio and studies
show that nursing mothers have fewer chances of developing breast cancer later
The baby digests breast milk
better and is significantly less colicky and a happy. So it won’t be wrong to
say that breastfeeding spreads happiness both in mother and the baby.
Health is defined as physical
mental and emotional well-being and not just the absence of diseases. Nursing a
newborn baby is the most emotionally satisfying moment for any mother.
Above all breastfeeding further
strengthens the heavenly bond between a newborn and mother.
By Dr. Shalini Tyagi
Head, Paediatrics & Neonatology
Metro Hospitals & Heart Institute, Noida Sector-11, UP