We’ve heard about the great advantages of breast milk. It’s in fact the THE BEST food we can give our children, but sometimes moms doubt about their milk quality or people around her may suggest other feeding methods before the baby reaches the six months old mark. It seems like we live in a contradicting world! We hear experts talking about high obesity and diabetes rates, talking about how we should eat as balanced as possible, with fresh, natural ingredients, but many still think that feeding formula to a baby “makes no difference” from a breastfeeding baby.
What Science Says:
The World Health Organization suggests that children should exclusively breastfeed the first 6 months of age, or when the baby can sit and becomes interest in food. By “interested” they mean that the baby starts grabbing food from the mom’s plate and actually putting some of it in their mouths. Breast milk should be the main food for children up to the first year after a year it becomes a supplement of a healthy nutrition, based on balanced and fresh meals, you could decide to breastfeed up to two years or beyond.
Why 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding?
Inmune/m n System: A newborn’s inmune system is actually very weak or nearly nonexistent. Colostrum is the first “coat” that will cover the baby’s gut to prepare the inmune system and the intestines to receive food, absorb nutrients and provide gut bacteria. Breast milk during the following months will help “complete” the inmune system, lowering allegerns and *the risk of chronic conditions later in life, such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, childhood asthma and childhood leukemias (*UNICEF).
Nutrition: Besides providing the nutrients needed to develop and grow, breast milk provides fatty acids that are crucial for brain development. As higher mammals, human babies need a well developed neurological system to be able to learn and process information to be able to thrive.
Survival: It is well known that exclusively breastfed children under 6 months old has almost no risk of SIDS. The risks will also be lower on children co-sleeping with parents in the same bed or room.
A Better Start
Breastfed children have better chances to thrive and survive: they have at least six times greater chance of survival in the early months than non-breastfed children (Lancet 2008/UNICEF). It gives future adults better health conditions, preventing diabetes, obesity, high pressure, and high cholesterol, very common diseases of today’s world. Three generations of bottle fed infants has a high cost, not only for families’ economy, but a greater rate of optimal breastfeeding children under two years could prevent over 800,000 deaths (13 per cent of all deaths) in children under five in the developing world (Lancet 2013/UNICEF).
Your milk is a precious gift of life for you child. Is optimal for developing and protecting a baby and is also the beginning of a healthy lifestyle. Breast milk is everything your child needs, and has all what a baby needs: you!
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