slon 3 Why Breast-feeding is best?


Breastfeeding is the healthiest start for infants …
Breast milk provides the best possible mix of nutrients every baby needs in an easy to digest form. It also changes its composition during the different stages of the infant’s life to provide just the right nutrients the baby needs at just the right time for optimal growth and development.

In addition to the nutrients, breast milk is also packed with antibodies that help fight viral and bacterial infections keeping the baby well and healthy and reducing infections and visits to the doctor.

The effects of breastfeeding on general health and the immune system are also believed to stay with us throughout childhood, and even into our adult life, reducing the risk of many common ailments.

Beyond physical health, breastfeeding has been linked to higher IQ’s, and better cognitive development. This in addition to the increased bonding with the mother and feeling of security that comes with the physical closeness, skin to skin touch and eye contact that happens while breastfeeding.

There are also maternal benefits …
Breast feeding helps restore the mother’s body to pre-pregnancy state. It burns calories helping to lose the pregnancy weight faster, and the release of specific hormones during breastfeeding reduces the uterus size to pre-pregnancy size.

There is also evidence of health benefits for the mother and reduced risk of developing certain diseases.

Last but not least to consider is the fact that breastfeeding is FREE. No formula, no bottles and nipples, and no boiling and sterilizing means time and money saved for the whole family.

What the experts say …
WHO recommend exclusive breastfeeding until the age of 6 months.

Both the European & North American Societies for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN/NASPGHAN) state that exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months is a desirable goal, and that complimentary feeding (solid foods and liquids other than breast milk or infant formula or follow-on formula) should not be introduced before 17 weeks and not later than 26 weeks. It is further recommended that breastfeeding be continued until 12 months of age and beyond, for as long as the mother and child desire.

Breastfeeding & you …
This is one of those topics where everyone is bound to have an opinion. It is important that you be informed of the immense benefits of breastfeeding for your baby and yourself before making any decision related to how you choose to feed your baby, and that you discuss any questions or concerns you have with your physician.

While many mothers encounter some difficulties with breastfeeding, usually these can be overcome with support and encouragement from health professionals, family and community organizations. Many mothers can also continue breastfeeding if they choose to return to work.

While exclusive breastfeeding is ideal, any amount of breast milk is beneficial to the infant and mother. If mothers express and store breast milk, it is important to follow correct procedures to ensure food safety and hygiene.

If for any reason, you cannot, do not, or no longer intend to breastfeed, please make sure you consult your pediatrician before choosing a suitable formula. We also advise you read our article “What to Look for When Choosing Formula” to help guide your choice.

If you want to learn more about breastfeeding, or if you have any questions about infant nutrition in general, feel free to Ask Janny, our resident nutritionist.