A patient is trying to convince her daughter to continue breastfeeding even when she goes back to work.
There’s no question anymore that despite some inconveniences, breastfeeding benefits both baby and mother. That’s why it’s highly recommended and mandated by various laws in the Philippines.
All hospitals are required to enforce breastfeeding for all newborn babies, unless there are contraindications to either mother or baby.
By law, breastfeeding is allowed in public, and employers are required to allow employees to breastfeed or express and save milk while at work.
Breast milk is the best source of nutrition a baby can get. All its minerals and nutrients are needed by the baby to grow. No milk formula can ever come close.
Breast milk is a potent immune system booster and helps reduce risk of allergies, ear infections, asthma, pneumonia, juvenile diabetes, vomiting and diarrhea, obesity and sudden infant death syndrome.
Making babies smarter
There are some studies which suggest breast milk can enhance development of the brain and nervous system, and can make babies smarter.
Breast milk is considered a natural wonder, reducing health risks for infants and babies, while formula feeding may lead to various short- and long-term complications for babies.
It’s a big must that the infant gets the first milk that comes from the mother’s breast, called colostrum, since this is filled with immune system-boosting antibodies and other nutrients.
Colostrum is actually a form of milk produced by the mammary glands of all mammals (including humans) in late pregnancy. It contains antibodies to protect the newborn against various medical disorders.
Newborns generally have immature digestive systems, and colostrum delivers its nutrients in a very concentrated, low-volume form.
Because of its mild laxative effect, it helps pass the baby’s first stool called meconium.
It’s not only the baby who benefits, but also the mother. Breastfeeding forges a strong bond between mother and baby by stimulating the release of oxytocin, the so-called “love hormone,” which also helps the mother. It is responsible for shrinking the uterus back to its size before pregnancy.
There are studies showing oxytocin may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer, as well as diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.
Breastfeeding also helps the mother get rid of the excess weight she gained during pregnancy.
Ideally, babies should be breastfed exclusively for the first six months, according to pediatricians. When the baby has tried some solid foods after six months, mothers are still encouraged to continue breastfeeding until the baby is at least a year old, and as long after that as both mother and child are willing.
Breastfeeding is truly one of the best gifts mothers can give their babies.