World Breastfeeding Week - August 1-7, 2017
Happy World Breastfeeding Week! It is well established that the benefits of breastfeeding are plentiful, not only to your baby’s health but also for yourself, the community, and the environment. The World Health Organization recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed until 6 months of age, ideally beginning within the first hour after birth. To reap all the benefits they encourage that mothers continue to breastfeed beyond 6 months in conjunction with solid foods, up until the age of 2 years or whenever the child is ready to wean.
So what is all the hype about? Here are four great reasons below!
Did you know that the composition of breast milk changes to meet the needs of the baby both throughout the day and as they grow? That’s right! They get a custom supply of nutrients that formulas don’t entirely offer, including digestible proteins, healthy fats, vitamins/minerals, enzymes, hormones, and immune enhancing factors. Breast milk provides an infant with everything it will need to thrive – and better yet – it’s free!
2. Protection For Baby
It is often said that breastfeeding sets the stage for a baby’s health, as it delivers a host of health benefits that extend well into adulthood. Babies who are breastfed have stronger immune function and are less likely to develop things like ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and digestive upset. They tend to have higher IQs, lower rates of atopic conditions such as allergies, asthma, and eczema, and are considered less likely to develop diabetes and become overweight/obese as adults.
3. Protection For Mom
Breastfeeding confers some health benefits for mom, too! Women that breastfeed have lower rates of obesity and are less likely to suffer from post partum depression or baby blues. Breastfeeding provides protection against breast and ovarian cancer, aids with post partum weight loss, and helps to strengthen bones. It also encourages bonding, which is essential for the development of a secure and loving relationship between mom and baby.
Breastfeeding is one of the most effective yet affordable (and green!) ways to enhance the lives of children on a global scale. It is accessible, free, environmental friendly, and offers a solution to cut healthcare costs in the long term given the multitude of health benefits that are paired with it.
You’ve probably heard the saying “breast is best!” when it comes to breast milk or formula. Although we agree with this statement for the most part, it’s important to realize that breastfeeding may not be a feasible option for every family for a number of reasons, and that’s okay! You are entitled to make your own decision based on what is best for your family. What matters most at the end of the day is that your baby is healthy and developing as they should. Both options will accomplish this so in the end, “fed is best”!