Mother’s milk is the most nutritious milk a child can have. Breastfed milk is known for vitamins, antibodies, fats, and proteins that support child development. What is unique about it is its natural adaptation for the child’s needs.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, and continuing even after solid foods are introduced, until at least age 1 year or until both mom and baby agree to call it quits.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding until 2 years old or longer because the benefits continue that long. These agencies recommend starting as early as one hour after birth for the biggest benefits.
In the first two weeks, breastfed milk has lower lactose and fat and higher protein and potassium. As the child digestion system develops, the volume of the milk increases. Around 12 months, when the child’s digestion system becomes ready to accept solid food, the milk volume starts to decline. Not only that but also the antibodies in breastfed milk adapt to the child’s health status. If the child is sick, the baby’s saliva sends a message to the mother’s body, so breastfed milk provides the child with the antibodies needed. Therefore, children who are breastfed tend to have a stronger immune system, have fewer digestion problems, and tend to have healthier weights.
The good news is that while the mother is feeding her baby with her nutritious milk, her body benefits from this process too. In addition to the fact that breastfeeding helps the mother and the child bond, it also stimulates the body to burn calories which helps the mother to lose the weight gained during her pregnancy. Furthermore, breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
In the end, it can be challenging for some mothers to breastfeed their children. During breast feeding week, we are here to support every woman that is breastfeeding her child by sharing information and tips that we hope helps. For more information, check out our social media pages and the pointers in the Nurturey app.