Babies, for nine months, live a rather nurtured life, securely protected in their mothers’ wombs with all the antibodies present in the placenta. However, when they are born, they face a completely different environment. Therefore, it’s imperative that the baby receives the required nutrition that supports and enhances its growth and development after birth.
Here’s where breastfeeding comes into play. Breastfeeding is proven to improve babies’ immune systems while simultaneously providing the comforting and soothing physical contact with their mothers. This is absolutely essential for the all-around development of your baby. A baby starts producing antibodies to combat infections between 5 to 6 months; however, its immune system may take up to 6 years to be fully developed. In the interim the newborn requires some sort of immunity boost to keep it away from infections and other serious illnesses. These illnesses and infections are usually caused by the numerous bacteria present in the atmosphere. This much needed immunity boost can be provided in the form of nutritionally abundant mother’s milk.
Breastfeeding is undeniably the most complete form of nourishment for babies and its benefits include better health, physical growth and mental development. Here are few of the numerous advantages that breastfeeding has over baby formula.
Breastfeeding is Irreplaceable
Mother’s milk is known to be an abundant source of proteins, fat and sugar, and is extremely nutritious for your baby. It helps protect your infant from various illnesses while reducing the chance of your baby developing an ear infection, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections, gut infections, or pneumonia. Some mothers prefer putting their babies on formula milk, as they believe that formula milk comes loaded with proteins and vitamins, however, this may not be entirely true. Formula milk is a good option for those who do not produce adequate breast milk to breastfeed their babies. One does need to be aware that while breast milk is an absolutely pure form of nutrition, formula milk needs to be mixed with water for its preparation and this increases the risk of infections contaminating the mixture with water. Breastfeeding also helps mothers create a special bond with their babies.
Breastfeeding Averts Infections
A mother’s milk consists of antibodies and enzymes that prepare the baby’s body to fight various illnesses and infections. Studies have proven that compared to babies on formula milk, it was the breastfed babies who showed signs of better health and illness combating behavior. Breast milk improves the baby’s ability to fight diarrhea by enhancing the production of useful bacteria in the intestines of the baby.
Allergy Reduction through Breastfeeding
With the various studies carried out to understand the benefits of breastfeeding infants, it was found that breastfed babies displayed lower signs of hereditary allergies as compared to those who were not breastfed. While doctors strongly recommend breastfeeding for numerous medically profitable reasons, this is one of its long-term benefits.
Quicker Maturity of The Immune System
The approximate time taken for a baby’s immunity system to build up is 6 years. Studies show that babies that are breastfed tend to have a quicker immune system maturity than those who are formula fed. Their bodies react positively to keep away harmful germs and infections, thus evading serious illnesses.
Breastfeeding is therefore strongly recommended for the initial six months after birth. Many mothers continue breastfeeding for 2 years and more. This, of course, could be carried out along with the introduction of other food sources like fruits, vegetables and pulses. It’s preferable not to substitute breastfeeding with formula or other foods for a minimum of six months.
In conclusion, breastfeeding not only influences a baby’s health positively by strengthening the immune system, it also enhances the baby’s growth and development.