Breastfeeding: the foundation of life
Monday, August 6, 2018
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from August 1-7 all over the globe to encourage breastfeeding improve the health of babies around the world. In 2018 the slogan of breastfeeding Week is Breastfeeding: the foundation of life
Breastfeeding is generally thought to have long-lasting health benefits for your baby. It provides the ideal nutrition, and can help to protect them from diseases and infections, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Breastfeeding lowers risk of asthma or allergies, and babies have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea.
Breastfed infants are more likely to gain the right amount of weight as they grow rather than become overweight children. Recent studies show, breastfeeding has been linked to higher IQ scores in later childhood.
Breastfeeding also has health benefits for you, it burns extra calories, releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth, lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer and osteoporosis, reduces urinary tract infections and chance of anemia, reduces risk of postpartum depression and more positive mood, gives your body greater immunity.
Despite the benefits of breastfeeding, however when breast milk is no longer enough to meet the nutritional needs of the infant, complementary foods should be added to the diet of the child. WHO (World Health Organization) recommends that infants start receiving complementary foods at 6 months of age in addition to breast milk, initially 2-3 times a day between 6-8 months, increasing to 3-4 times daily between 9-11 months and 12-24 months with additional nutritious snacks offered 1-2 times per day, as desired.