Although it occurs naturally, but breastfeeding is not easy and requires discipline and sacrifice. It is hoped that mothers will continue to choose breastfeeding after realizing the various benefits, not only for babies, but also for mothers.
Generally it is recommended that breast milk be given exclusively in the first six months of the baby’s age, then if possible continue for up to 2 years. Although it is highly recommended compared to formula milk, but the choice to give breast milk or formula milk is given to each mother to adjust certain health conditions or comfort each. However, many mothers choose breastfeeding because of its various benefits, both for babies and mothers.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Babies
Many mothers choose to breastfeed because the content of breast milk provides its own protection for babies. Here are some of the benefits of breast milk for babies.
Prevents infection and disease
Breast milk given to infants contains germ-fighting factors and antibodies that originate in the mother. Colostrum ASI contains immunoglobulin A (IgA), which is the substance that maintains the immune system. This content acts as a protector to fight germs on the mucous membranes of the throat, nose and intestine. Not only that, this content can also reduce the risk of infection and illness. The risks of these infections include: meningitis, diarrhea, respiratory infections, ear infections. In addition, it can also help prevent obesity, leukemia in children, diabetes, allergies, asthma, to sudden death syndrome in infants.
Easy to digest
The component of breast milk is very appropriate for the baby’s digestive system because it contains protein, lactose, and fat that is easily digested by the newborn. This is important to avoid constipation or diarrhea, especially for babies born prematurely.
Contains complete vitamins and minerals.
Many mothers choose breastfeeding because there is no substitute milk or other foods that contain vitamins and minerals as complete as breast milk. Breast milk is produced through natural processes in every mother’s body with the components that best suit the baby’s needs, and this process cannot be duplicated.
Introducing babies in many flavors
Pregnant women need to eat a variety of healthy foods to be able to breastfeed. Thus, indirectly, babies also taste a variety of different food flavors through the milk they consume, so that it is hoped that it will be easier to receive solid food.
Research reveals that children who are exclusively breastfed babies have a slightly higher IQ than those who do not. When immunized, babies who are breastfed are less at risk of fever than those who are not breastfed.
These benefits will still be obtained by the baby after the breastfeeding period has passed. Equally important, the study found that the risk of dying from the age of 28 days to 1 year in children who were breastfed was 20% lower than those who did not.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mother
Not only for babies, mothers who choose breastfeeding also have benefits that are no less important.
Formula milk is generally expensive. While breastfeeding does not require any costs, unless you express milk and then stored and given at another time. In addition, a baby’s stronger immune system makes it relatively less sick, thus saving on inexpensive medical expenses. In addition, breast milk will not run out, does not require hot water to be processed, and does not need a bottle if given directly.
Skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby that occurs during the process of breastfeeding will develop a strong emotional bond.
Breastfeeding can burn calories
In addition to shrinking the uterus back to its original size, breastfeeding can burn calories, thus making the mother also return to its original weight before becoming pregnant.
Reducing the risk of disease
Research reveals the health benefits of breastfeeding for mothers include reducing the risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, heart disease, and obesity.
Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of postpartum depression, because this process releases the hormone oxytocin in the body.
Some women can easily adapt to breastfeeding. While others require more time. Knowledge and guidance are needed to help mothers be safer in breastfeeding.
Helping Mothers to Go through the Breastfeeding Process
One of the things that is afraid of nursing mothers is the pain experienced, especially in the early stages of breastfeeding. This pain is generally only experienced less than a minute at the beginning of breastfeeding, for a week to 10 days.
Pain during breastfeeding usually occurs because of the position of breastfeeding that is not right. To overcome this, try several breastfeeding positions, such as breastfeeding while sleeping or sitting. If it is difficult to choose a suitable position, you can consult a breastfeeding counselor or midwife. Breastfeeding training is generally also accessible during pregnancy.
Breastfed babies are also more easily hungry, because breast milk is digested faster than formula milk. Therefore, mothers need to eat enough and are ready to breastfeed at least 2-3 hours. Consumption of certain foods or drinks that are at risk, such as liquor, should be avoided so as not to be passed on to the baby. Mothers with certain conditions, such as HIV, need to see a doctor first to ensure the safety of breastfeeding for infants.
Generally, babies suckle for 10-20 minutes on each breast, so it takes maternal patience during this process. There are times when breast milk does not come out kar