Parenting Health and Wellness

Breastfeeding: 10 Things You Should Know About

Debashree Bhattacharya
0 to 1 years

Created by Debashree Bhattacharya
Updated on Apr 26, 2018

Breastfeeding 10 Things You Should Know About

The happiest moment that I have experienced till now in my life is the birth of my son. It gave me a feeling of pride, a moment of an overwhelming joy and a sense of satisfaction when I, for the very first time, held him in my arms. But mummies, can you guess what was the most intense feeling that I felt at that very moment? A sense of responsibility for my son. Initially, breastfeeding did not come easily to me and my son. Luckily, I met an excellent Lactation Expert who helped me understand the process of breastfeeding. She also made me understand the various benefits of breastmilk for my baby. I was grateful for the guidance and today, I will share the knowledge with all of you.

10 Benefits Of Breastmilk For Your Baby

There is no denying that the best gift a mother can give to her baby is her breastmilk. I feel a mother’s breastmilk acts like an elixir that protects her baby from so many diseases and ailments. Keep scrolling down to understand the benefits of breastmilk for your little one.

  1. Breastmilk Provides Ideal Nutrition for Babies:

    Most paediatricians recommend exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months for a baby. Continued breastfeeding is then recommended for at least one year along with different kinds of semi-solid and solid foods for the baby. Now, did you know, breastmilk contains everything that your baby needs for the first six months of his/her life, in all the right proportions? Yes, it is true! During the first few days after birth, the breasts produce a thick and yellowish fluid called colostrum. It’s high in protein, low in sugar and loaded with beneficial nutrients. Colostrum is the ideal first milk for your newborn; it will help in the development of your baby's immature digestive tract. It also helps to build up a healthy immune system
  2. Breastfeeding Helps In Increasing Immunity:

    Breastmilk is loaded with antibodies, specially Immunoglobulin A, that helps your baby fight viruses and bacteria. This particularly applies to colostrum - the first milk. Now, when you are exposed to viruses or bacteria, your body starts producing antibodies. These antibodies are then secreted through the breastmilk and passed on to your baby during feeding. For this reason, breastfeeding mothers with the flu may actually provide their babies with antibodies that help them fight the pathogen that is causing the sickness. Nonetheless, if you are ill, you should always practice strict hygiene. Wash your hands often and try to avoid infecting your baby
  3. Breastfeeding May Reduce Risk Of Many Diseases:

    Exclusive breastfeeding may reduce your baby’s risk of many illnesses and diseases, including middle ear infections, respiratory tract infections, colds and infections, gut infections, intestinal tissue damage, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and childhood leukaemia
  4. Breastmilk Promotes Healthy Weight Gain:

    Breastfeeding will promote healthy weight gain of your baby and will help prevent childhood obesity. This may be due to the development of different gut bacteria. Did you know, breastfed babies have higher amounts of beneficial gut bacteria, which may affect fat storage?

    Babies fed on breastmilk also have more leptin in their systems than formula-fed babies. Leptin is a key hormone for regulating appetite and fat storage. Moreover, the right amount of proteins in breastmilk helps in healthy weight gain in the baby. They’re better at eating only until they’ve satisfied their hunger, which helps them develop healthy eating patterns.

  5. Breastfeeding Helps In Development Of Brain:

    Some studies suggest there may be a difference in brain development between breastfed and non-breastfed babies. Essential fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachadonic acid (ARA) are the key building blocks influencing the development of an infant's brain and vision. However, the most pronounced effects are seen in preterm babies, who have a higher risk of developmental issues
  6. Breastmilk Releases Bonding Hormones:

    Just like kangaroo care (skin-to-skin contact), breastfeeding releases the bonding hormone called oxytocin. Breastfeeding provides a natural opportunity to share an emotional bonding at the very beginning of your child’s life
  7. Breastmilk Promotes Development Of Vision:

    Breastfeeding your baby will reduce the chances of your child needing glasses at a later stage in life. My lactation expert told me, children, who were breastfed as infants have better eyesight than those who were formula-fed. In fact, she mentioned, breastfed babies had greater stereoscopic (three-dimensional) vision. A higher concentration of the fatty acid DHA in breastmilk is the reason behind better eyesight. DHA is one of the prime structural components of the retina of the eye. Plus, breastmilk is good for combating eye infections
  8. Breastmilk Fosters Healthy Digestive System:

    Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from diarrhoea and upset stomach. The right balance of nutrients in breastmilk will help your baby to develop a healthy digestive system. In particular, the fat and antibody-rich colostrum that contains partially hydrolysed proteins - which are already broken down and are easier to digest, will help your baby adapt to the needs as s/he grows
  9. Breastmilk Supports Oral Health:

    Breastfeeding will help the jawbone and muscles of the upper airway develop, which is important for better alignment of the oral cavity in your baby. Exclusive breastfeeding for four to five months will reduce the risk in your baby of suffering from malocclusion, which means misalignment of the teeth and dental arches
  10. Breastmilk Acts As A Natural Painkiller:

    Yes, it is true that breastmilk acts as a natural painkiller. And this is the reason why most paediatricians after registering vaccines to your newborn will advise you to nurse your baby as much as possible. Breastmilk will help your baby relax. So, in conclusion, I would like to say that the decision to breastfeed your baby is your personal choice but it’s important to get educated about all the benefits of breastfeeding before your baby arrives. The right quantity and quality of proteins in the first 1000 days has long term health benefits for your baby in staying healthy for the rest of his/her life. So, make the right decision and help your baby in staying healthy

Disclaimer: “SHSH programme is for educational purposes only, in partnership with doctors. Consult a doctor for queries about your or your child's health.”

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| Jun 15, 2018

Hello Arunab, thanks a lot for your valuable feedback.

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| Jun 15, 2018

nice information

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| Jun 08, 2018

Thanks a lot Roshni for your valuable feedback.

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| Jun 08, 2018

very nice to know in details

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| Jun 03, 2018

Hello Vengamma Batthini , please post your feedback again

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| Jun 03, 2018

(<รพ<6

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| Jun 03, 2018

iioopoll)

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| May 17, 2018

Hello Pehu, thanks a lot for the acknowledgement.

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| May 17, 2018

very well explained. Debashree Bhattacharya thank u so much for sharing this useful piece of work!!

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| May 06, 2018

Hello Mano, please read the following blog https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/how-to-increase-breast-milk-supply/584?ptref=sa0l000u9e100g8

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| May 05, 2018

help me to improve breast milk

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| Apr 27, 2018

Hello Smita, l totally agree with you....

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| Apr 27, 2018

The very first and best gift that any mother can give to her baby

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| Apr 27, 2018

Hello Yashwant, please read out this blog to your wife.. !! :)

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| Apr 27, 2018

Hello Mehak, thanks a lot for the feedback

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| Apr 27, 2018

Hello Sojal, nice to read your comment

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| Apr 27, 2018

Hello Meenu, thanks a lot dear..

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| Apr 27, 2018

Hello Minu, l am glad that you liked it

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| Apr 27, 2018

Hello Shilpa, thanks a lot for the feedback

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| Apr 27, 2018

Hello Ravina, thanks a lot for your valuable feedback

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| Apr 27, 2018

Hello Nikita, l am glad that you liked the blog

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| Apr 27, 2018

Hello Nishtha, thanks a lot for the feedback

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| Apr 27, 2018

True, the best gift for a baby is mother's milk. Nice blog.

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| Apr 27, 2018

A very well written read. superb facts.

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| Apr 27, 2018

It even helps in oral health. That's amazing. I had no idea about this.

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| Apr 27, 2018

Thanks for sharing such an amazing blog dear!

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| Apr 27, 2018

Breast milk is indeed miraculous! Great facts.

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| Apr 27, 2018

I will share this with my wife. Very helpful facts!

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| Apr 27, 2018

Amazing facts about breastfeeding!

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| Apr 27, 2018

This is a very informative blog! Thanks for sharing dear.

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| Apr 27, 2018

Development of vision! Great. I never knew.

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| Apr 27, 2018

Wow. Great blog!

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| Apr 27, 2018

Yes Shaveta, that is why most of the doctors ask mommies to breast feed as much as possible after the vaccination of their babies.

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| Apr 27, 2018

Wow! I never know it acts as a painkiller as well

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| Apr 27, 2018

Hello Zara, thanks a lot for your valuable feedback.

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| Apr 26, 2018

breastmilk is indeed an elixir for babies.. very well written. thanks for sharing Debashree Bhattacharya !

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