Wednesday, June 19, 2019

20 facts about Breastfeeding

Posted On : June 04,2015

We all know the saying “breastfeeding is best feeding” and for a mother, breastfeeding is a joyous experience because it strengthens the bond between the mother and the child.

Also known as liquid gold, mother’s milk can boost the infants’ immune system and protects babies from illness.

Mother’s who breastfeed have lower risks of diseases like – type II diabetes, cervical cancer and ovarian cancer. But despite mother’s milk being important for the growth of a child, many women refuse to practice this habit.

Dr. Shacchee Baweja, Lactation consultant at BLK Superspecialty Hospital & Child Birth Counselor at Hi Moms shares some of the colossal benefits, and a few quirky facts about breastfeeding with

1. WHO recommends that all babies should be breastfed exclusively on
breastmilk till 6 months of age and thereafter breastfeeding should continue till the child completes 2 yrs of age, along with other foods.

2. Earliest skin to skin contact of the baby and mother plays a crucial role in promoting breastfeeding.

3. Almost all mothers produce sufficient milk for their babies. If the baby latches on the breast well, he/she will be able to take out adequate milk from the mum’s breast. Even on day 1st day of birth!

A mother with twins/ triplets has the capacity to produce double/triple milk as compared tomother with a single baby.

4. During the first 24 to 72 hrs after delivery, mothers do not feel any fullness in their breasts; breasts start feeling full anytime after 24 hrs of delivery.

5. The first milk or colostrum most of the time looks very different from normal animal milk (It can look transparent/ straw colored/ yellowish). This is the first vaccination of the baby.

6. The average requirement of a normal 
full term baby is anywhere b/w 5-7 ml per feed for the first 2 days.

7. Breastmilk boosts a baby’s immune system big time—helping baby fight viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections (so lesser chances of Respiratory tract infections, Ear infections, Bacterial meningitis, Pneumonia, Urinary tract infections, Infant diarrhea, common cold and flu, etc.)

8. Breastfeeding reduces baby’s risk of many diseases later in life  (eg: Type I and II diabetes, Hodgkin’s disease, Leukemia, Obesity, High blood pressure, High cholesterol levels, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative colitis, Asthma, Eczema, etc.)

9. Breastfeeding reduces mom’s risk of ovarian and breast cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.  The longer she breastfeeds, the higher the benefit.

10. Breastfeeding saves a family lots of money annually (compared to
cost of formula /illness and hospitalization expenses/ leaves from work, etc).

11. Breastfeeding helps the mother heal faster in the postpartum, helping her uterus return to pre-pregnancy size faster and lowering overall post-delivery blood loss.

12. Breastfeeding can help the mother return to her pre-baby weight.  It takes approx 750 calories a day on average to produce breast milk.  Women are advised to consume an extra 500 calories a day, and the body dips into reserves it built up in pregnancy to make the rest.

13. Almost 75% of all moms produce more milk in their right breast, whether they are right- or left- handed.

14. Mother’s body is constantly making the perfect milk for 
baby. Milk changes its nutritional profile as baby grows (milk made for a 3-month old is different than for a 9-month old).  Milk can even change day to day—for example, water content may increase during times of hot weather and baby-sickness to provide extra hydration.

15. Human milk contains substances that promote sleep and calmness in babies. Breastfeeding also calms mama and helps her bond to 

16. Breastfed infants are at lower risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

17. Mother’s breasts can detect even a
one-degree fluctuation in baby’s body temperature and adjust accordingly to heat up or cool down baby as needed.  This is one reason skin-to-skin contact in the early days is so crucial.

18. Breastfeeding reduces baby’s risk of cavities later on and may lower the chance they will need braces as kids.

19. Breastfeeding mamas sleep on average 45 minutes more a night, compared to those who formula feed.

20. A mother can exclusively feed her baby for 6 months on breastmilk even if she has to join back work.