Apart from helping the baby to develop physically and mentally, breast milk prevents sudden infants death

Emobileclinic Trending Topic: Benefits of Exclusive Breastfeeding

Emobileclinic Specialist

Exclusive breastfeeding means that an infant receives only breastmilk with no additional foods or liquids, not even water. In Nigeria, there are beliefs that a baby has to be fed water, pap and even several concoctions (agbo) and these  are dangerous to the baby’s health. WHO recommends that a mother exclusively breastfeed for the child’s first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Babies should begin breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth (preferably within the first hour).

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For mothers who chose to breastfeed their babies exclusively, it is important to ensure that nothing else is given to the baby to drink or eat during that time.

When you are away from your baby, try to ensure they are fed with expressed breast milk rather than infant formula. The baby should be breastfed on demand, as these stimulates the breasts to produce an adequate supply of breast milk. If your baby is exclusively breastfed, then breast milk meets all their fluid requirements. Breastfed babies may demand feeding  frequently, so the mother may think that her breastmilk is not enough on its own. Feeding other liquids and foods to the baby is not necessary for nutrition and it increases the risk of infection from the spoon or feeding bottle.

What are the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding?

It provides the best nutrition for the newborn

Is easily digested and efficiently used by the baby’s body

Protects against infection and other illnesses

Helps your baby grow and develop physically and emotionally.

Decreases the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy (sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS).

Protects baby from chronic tummy problems and some childhood cancers.

They may also be less likely to get allergies, eczema or asthma

Reduces the risk of obesity and may help reduce the risk of diabetes in later life

Is cost-effective and affordable

Promotes mother-baby bonding

Provides the mother with a degree of contraceptive protection (though less than 100% effective) if she is exclusively breastfeeding until her first menstrual period returns after the birth

Reduces mother’s risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer

Reduces mother’s risk of ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and hip fracture

Mom can more quickly lose extra “baby weight.”

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After six months, exclusive breastfeeding is not enough for your baby to grow and develop. You should introduce complementary foods (solids) and also continue breastfeeding until they are at least one year or older.

 



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