Breastfeeding: Why is it so crucial for the baby and the mother?
It is widespread to realize that today many women, not all mothers for the first time, have questions about breastfeeding, and some do not even realize the importance of breastfeeding and the development of their health. Baby.
Breastfeeding is essential for the mother and baby because breast milk protects the baby and prevents many diseases such as allergies, asthma, bronchitis, rhinitis, diarrhea, pneumonia, high cholesterol, and diabetes, among others.
On the other hand, the mother recovers faster from pregnancy since in breastfeeding, the uterus contracts, making it return to normal quickly, preventing excessive bleeding and cancels the risk of anemia, in addition to helping the mother to lose weight because breastfeeding makes you lose 500-700 calories per day while reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
It is indicated that up to 6 months of life, the baby is fed only breast milk and then begins to introduce other foods, but this does not mean that breastfeeding has to be stopped; the ideal is to last up to 2 years or more, It is even recommended until the mother has milk available.
The index for babies up to 6 months of age who are exclusively breastfed in Latin countries is 41%, compared to the ideal index is very low. Ideally, it would be a value of 90%.
Many mothers do not know it, but preparing the body for breastfeeding and exercising the breasts and nipples is necessary. Ideally, mothers practice these exercises since they help get used to the change in the breasts.
Among the benefits of breastfeeding, the baby will receive are:
Breastfeeding has a vital role in the immunity of infants as it contains immune cells and is capable of protecting the newborn’s body through anti-infectious factors. Some infections that appear before six months, such as otitis, affect a smaller number of breastfed children. Breastfeeding plays an essential role in the mother’s nervous system, decreasing stress. Contact with the mother is essential and makes the baby feel more secure and peaceful, avoiding crying and anxiety, say some doctors.
Specialists have found that breast milk contains known enzymes in the child’s body. Cow’s milk or artificial milk has components that are foreign to the baby and, therefore, can cause intestinal allergies and iron deficiency. Some claim that children fed with breast milk can go up to eight days without a stool precisely because the body absorbs all The components of breast milk without evacuation.
A study published in the European Respiratory Journal revealed that babies fed breast milk exclusively during the first six months are less likely to develop childhood asthma symptoms, such as wheezing and persistent phlegm. Another survey, developed by the University of Southampton in England and the State University of Michigan and South Carolina in the United States, found that breastfed children for at least four months had better functioning lungs.
The baby’s effort to suck milk helps develop the lungs, strengthening the body against allergies. It has been found that allergies begin in the first year of life and are almost always associated with cow’s milk protein; others like irritation in the baby’s body can lead to dermatitis, sinusitis, rhinitis, tonsillitis, and asthmatic bronchitis.
A significant reason breast milk helps prevent cramping in babies is the proteins present in its composition since there are two types of proteins: those difficult to digest (casein) and easy to digest (globulins). Animal milk has more proteins than breast milk, but cow’s milk is casein, and human milk is composed of globulins. To contain this type of protein, breast milk is not fermented, and being digested, produces less gas and prevents cramping. Another factor for colic is the intake of air for the baby, which is much greater with a bottle than with the breast.
In addition, the amount of magnesium, potassium, and sodium found in milk proteins is higher than in the mother’s milk. This factor can overload the child’s system, causing changes in the digestion process and favoring the emergence of future diseases such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, celiac disease, and obesity.
Breast milk has higher calcium and iron concentrations than cow’s milk. This iron in other milk is not enough for the baby; supplementation is necessary since abundant calcium in other milk can inhibit the absorption of iron, which further reduces the presence of this nutrient in the baby’s body and favors iron deficiency anemia.
A study on 12,000 infants published in The Journal of Pediatrics revealed that children fed breast milk develop brains faster and perform better vocabulary and reasoning. To this is added that breast milk fat is composed of polyunsaturated fatty acids, responsible for the formation of neurons in children and promoting nerve synapses. It is known that the development of about 80% of the brain occurs in the first two years of life, so the importance of fat in breast milk is indisputable.
Breastfeeding is ideal for the development of the bones of the skull and face, causing the teeth to grow correctly, in addition to promoting stimulation in the development of the muscles of the face and mouth, which will be reflected over time in speech, chewing, swallowing and breathing.