Importance of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding: Why is it so important for the baby and the mother?

It is very common to realize that today many women, not all mothers for the first time, have any questions about breastfeeding and some do not even realize the importance of breastfeeding and the development of their health. baby.

Breastfeeding is very important for the mother and the baby because through breast milk the baby is protected and prevents many diseases such as allergies, asthma, bronchitis, rhinitis, diarrhea, pneumonia, high cholesterol, 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, prevents 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 begin to introduce other foods, but 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 it is necessary to prepare the body for breastfeeding, the preparation exercises for the breasts and nipples. Ideally, mothers practice these exercises, since they help to get used to the change in the breasts.

Among the benefits of breastfeeding the baby will receive are:

Strengthens immunity

The breastfeeding has an important role in immunity to infants as it contains immune cells and capable of protecting the body of the newborn anti-infectious factors. Some of the infections that appear before six months, such as otitis, that affect a smaller number of children who are breastfed. Breastfeeding plays an important role in the nervous system of the mother, decreasing stress. Contact with the mother is important 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 have components that are foreign to the baby and therefore can cause intestinal allergies and iron deficiency and some claim that children fed with breast milk can even go up to eight days without stool, precisely because all The components of breast milk are absorbed by the body, without the need for evacuation.

A study published in the European Respiratory Journal revealed that babies fed exclusively breast milk 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 children who were breastfed for at least four months had better functioning lungs.

The baby’s effort to suck milk helps in the development of 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 and can lead to the development of dermatitis, sinusitis, rhinitis, tonsillitis and asthmatic bronchitis.

A great reason why breast milk helps prevent cramping in babies are 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 the protein that cow’s milk is basically 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 air for the baby, which is much greater than 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, a factor that 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 concentrations of calcium and iron compared to cow’s milk. This iron in other milks is not enough for the baby, supplementation is necessary, since calcium in abundance in other milks 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 in 12,000 infants and published in The Journal of Pediatrics revealed that children fed breast milk develop brain faster, show better performance in vocabulary and reasoning. To this is added that the fat of breast milk is composed of polyunsaturated fatty acids, responsible for the formation of neurons in children and promote 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 properly, 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.

Today there are breast milk banks, which are only looking to promote and help the healthy development of premature babies who have all their immature systems.