At Babyem, we are looking forward to World Breastfeeding Week Aug 1-7, when the world honours and learns about the value of breastfeeding. This year’s theme, “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding,” encourages support for all parents in achieving their breastfeeding goals. With innumerable pressures on families today, one of the gifts we can give parents when a new baby arrives is support.
The World Health Organization recommends mothers worldwide to exclusively breastfeed infants for the child’s first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, they should be given nutritious complementary foods and continue breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond.
There are innumerable advantages to breastfeeding. After childbirth, breastfeeding supports the expulsion of the placenta and protects against haemorrhage. Breastfeeding promotes the release of oxytocin that supports well-being in mother and child. Breast milk provides all the nutrition a baby needs during the first six months of life. Breastfeeding strengthens the bond between infant and mother.
Research shows that a woman’s breast milk changes its nutritional profile daily, even hourly, based on the growing infant’s nutritional needs: brain development, gut health, nervous system and more. Isn’t it amazing that a female body can instinctively respond to those demands?