by The Welthi Bureau 06th August, 2019
Breastfeeding is the natural and biological way of feeding infants. It started with the evolution of first mammals on this planet. It’s a boon for every baby, as it contains many nutrients that keep them healthy and plays an important role in reducing infant mortality and enhancing the growth of the baby. Today majority of the babies are not breastfed. Consequently, around 8 million people worldwide die from malnutrition. Although governments and medical institutions have launched number of awareness programs to reduce such infant deaths, today only 40 percent of babies under 6 months are breastfed. And 45% continue breastfeeding for up to 24 months.
There is a risk of contamination, at every step of artificial feeding, starting from mulching cows, processing, packaging, storing to feeding the baby. Breast milk contains a large number of substances which protect the babies against many infections especially the two most common ones viz. Diarrhea and Respiratory Infections. Indeed, colostrums (the first two days milk of mother after delivery) is considered to be the first immunization of the baby. Artificially fed babies do not get this protection and in addition are at a high risk of getting infection from bottled milk.
It is easy to overfeed a baby by artificial feeding and even after weaning; their energy intakes continue to be higher. Breastfed babies are more likely to gain proper weight. It also plays an important role in the prevention of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity and certain cancers.
There are reports of significant superiority of breastfed infants belonging to the low socio-economic group in the motor & mental development. Breast fed children 5-8 years of age, were found to have superior performance on intelligence tests and in vocabulary. They were less prone to conduct disorders and were socially more adjusted and stable.
Breastfeeding also protects the mother from diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
These measures will enable a healthy growth cycle for the long-term well being of the baby.
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