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Breast Milk Is Best

Mother's milk is the best food for baby. It contains the right amount of nutrients. It is also gentle on baby's developing stomach, intestines and other body systems. It is recommended that breastfeeding baby until he is 6 months old, then breastfeed with solid foods until at least 1 to 2 years of age.


Benefits Of Breastmilk

You may know some reasons why breastfeeding is best for the baby. Here are some of those reasons.



Healthy Nutrients

  • The nutrients in breastmilk are better absorbed and utilized by baby. These include sugar (carbohydrates) and protein.
  • Breastmilk contains nutrients that are best for baby's brain development and nervous system development. Studies of breastfeed babies have found that they perform better on intelligence tests as they grow up.
  • The baby's who drinks mothers milk those babies eyes also work better. This is mostly due to certain types of fat in breastmilk.


Preventing Infections

  • Breastmilk contains many disease-fighting agents. They help prevent mild to severe infections and hospitalizations.
  • Digestive, lung and ear infections are much less common in breastfed babies.
  • Babies born early (premature) who are breastfed are also less likely to get a serious infection of the intestines called NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis).
  • If your baby gets an infection when breastfeeding, the infection is likely to be less severe.


Preventing Other Conditions

Breastfeeding helps to protect babies from many serious health problems. And it continues to provide protection as they get older. Breastfed babies have:

  • Babies who are not breastfed have a lower risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
  • Lower risk of developing asthma and skin problems related to allergies. Formula-fed babies are more likely to have a milk allergy.
  • Less diarrhea and less chance of having certain digestive conditions. Formula can actually replace the healthy bacteria in a baby's intestines. The bacteria help with digestion and fight disease.
  • A lower risk of developing leukemia.
  • Fewers long-term health problems as they grow up. These include diabetes and obesity.


Breastfeeding women also get many health benefits. If you breastfeed, you are more likely to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy. You are also less likely to get breast and ovarian cancer and diabetes later in life.



What Is Exclusive Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is best for baby for at least the first 6 months of life. This is called "exclusive" breastfeeding. Breastmilk can be fed to the baby by putting it in a bottle as per the need.

You should not give water, sugar water, formula or solids to your baby during his first 6 months. The only exception to this is:

When your baby's healthcare provider tells you to

Your child's provider may also ask you to give your child vitamins. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that breastfed babies get extra vitamin D. Your child's provider will tell you about the type and amount of vitamin D you should give your child.


Risks Of Not Breastfeeding Only

You already know about the many benefits of breastfeeding. But perhaps you do not know why it is necessary to breastfeed only for at least 6 months.

Your baby is best protected from health problems when he gets only breast milk. It is good to breastfeed for some time. But it's best to breastfeed all the time.

  • Giving your baby formula or other liquids may make you:
  • Have more problems breastfeeding
  • Produce less milk
  • Be less confident in breastfeeding
  • Breastfeed less often
  • Stop breastfeeding before your baby is at least 6 months old                                                                                                                               

Who Should Not Breastfeed Only

Breastfeeding only is almost always recommended. But your healthcare provider may have reasons to recommend giving your baby formula or other fluids. they include:

  • Baby has some health problems. Usually only breastmilk is recommended, but you may need to add formula or other liquids. For example, your child may need it if he has low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), or a lack of body fluids (dehydration).
  • You have or have had certain health problems. There are a few reasons why you should not breastfeed baby. Some infections can be passed on through your breast milk. Also, women taking certain medications or who use drugs or alcohol should not breastfeed. 



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