Breastfeeding versus bottle feeding is a choice every parent will need to decide between welcoming a newborn into their family. During the recent Covid-19 outbreak, people have been recommending mothers to breastfeed rather than use formula. Why is this? What are the advantages of breastfeeding?
Nutrition & development
Breast milk is considered the best nutrition that a baby can get. Breast milk contains protein, carbohydrates, and minerals that help the baby grow and develop. It is important to note that breastmilk does not have vitamin D, so you might want to add vitamin D drops to your baby’s diet.
Breast milk also helps with a baby's development. Physical intimacy, touch, and eye contact (associated with breastfeeding) are vital for a baby's emotional and mental development.
A mother’s antibodies to viruses enter the breast milk providing their child with additional immunity towards infection. Antibodies help the baby fight off any disease or illness that may enter their body. Babies do not have a fully developed immune system until roughly six weeks after birth. Therefore, breastfeeding during this time is crucial for your child's health.
According to a study by J. Pediatr, babies who are not breastfed are five times more likely to suffer from pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections.
This can be especially helpful during the Covid-19 pandemic. The FDA has not approved the vaccine for anyone under the age of 12. This means that everyone from newborn to 12 will not get any immunity towards the disease. Women who are pregnant or breastfed can pass antibodies to their babies and give them a basic level of immunity towards the Covid-19.
Breastfeeding has been shown to lower the chase of developing allergies in babies. If your family has a history of allergies, Breastfeeding can be greatly beneficial. Breast Milk contains substances that coat the baby's intestines, helping to prevent microscopic food particles from getting into the bloodstream (these food particles can trigger an allergic reaction). This can prevent babies from developing food allergies.
Benefits for the mother
Breastfeeding does not only benefit the child; it also helps the mother. Many studies show that the more a woman breastfeeds, the lower her chances are of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
Milk production burns calories. Therefore, women who breastfeed are more likely to lose their pregnancy weight faster than those who do not breastfeed. Breastfeeding stimulates the release of oxytocin, a naturally occurring hormone that contracts the uterus bringing it back to its original size (helping you lose weight).
Breastfeeding also delays your period restarting – women who breastfeed often do not get their periods for many months. This doesn't, however, mean that you cannot get pregnant while breastfeeding!
Another significant benefit is breastfeeding has been linked to lowering the chance of postpartum depression. Breastfeeding is an excellent way to connect with your baby and get close to them. Breastfeeding creates a unique level of intimacy that can help lower the chances of developing postpartum depression.
Every parent needs to decide what they deem best for their child. Some people prefer to breastfeed, and some prefer not to. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. It is important not to judge a parent for their decision as many factors need to be considered when choosing what option is best for breastfeeding versus bottle feeding.
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Thank you for the zoom (and all your updates). It was great. I wish the news was like that. Straight forward, factual, unemotional. Bravo to both of you ladies!!