Importance of breast-feeding!!!

You are exhausted and lack the patience to help your little one get a hang on suckling for better milk flow

Baby is crying and you are worried that breast milk is not sufficient and leaves baby wanting more.

These are all normal feelings and reactions but bear in mind that breast milk is the best food for babies because it contains everything your baby needs. The best combination of proteins, fats, vitamins and carbohydrates.

Breast milk contains all the nutrients the baby needs for optimal growth and development for the first six months of life and it is easily digested by the baby’s body. It strengthens babies’ immune system, protecting babies against infections and reduces the risk of developing problems like obesity and diabetes later in life, reduces the risk of allergic reactions, and asthma.

During nursing the mother passes antibodies to the child, which helps them resist diseases and help improve the normal immune response to certain vaccines.

Breastfeeding is also beneficial to mothers as it helps mothers and babies to bond. It also helps a woman lose weight after birth, aids in returning the uterus to its normal size and shape and protects against breast and ovarian cancer and osteoporosis. Other benefits of breastfeeding: reduces bleeding, may help prevent anaemia and helps save money in formula and health care costs.

Artificially fed babies may develop intolerance to protein from animal milk. This may result in diarrhea, abdominal pain or rashes. They may also become lactose intolerant.

It’s extremely important to maintain a healthy, sufficient milk supply for your baby’s well-being.

Mothers can increase milk production by stimulating the breast and removing milk frequently, gently massaging the breast while breastfeeding to help the milk flow. Another option is to use foods, drinks or local herbs believed to increase milk supply. Ensure that these are safe to use while breastfeeding and would not harm your baby.

Mothers are encouraged to exclusively breastfeed for at least 6 months and continue breastfeeding while adding complementary foods for at least one year. Remember to maintain a healthy eating habit and stay drink lots of water.

(The above was submitted by the Grenada Food & Nutrition Council)

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