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Breast feeding is not just about complete nutrition and immunity. There are many lesser known benefits of breast feeding that are both interesting and astonishing!
By now we all have read at least one article or column on breast feeding and how it is the best possible form of food for babies. It is amazing how God created a natural source of food for the little human which is like a one stop destination for all its nutritional requirements. Not only that, but breast milk provides immunity to the new born also which helps it fight diseases. It is recommended that the babies should be solely fed on breast milk for the first 6 months before getting introduced to semi solids like rice and daal mashes etc.
Here are a few unheard benefits of breast feeding!
As per a study conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, breast fed babies have a 20% lower risk of dying between the ages of 28 days and 1 year.
As per the link cited earlier, breast feeding may also help in avoiding a number of diseases like Type 1 & 2 Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Inflammatory bowel diseases and even some allergies for the baby.
As crazy as the rollercoaster ride of motherhood is, new mothers get some respite during breast feeds. After the initial adjustment phase with their new borns, mother and the baby become a pro at breast feeding and mother is free to read her favorite book, learn a new language, solve a crossword puzzle (I solved so many) and even listen to the latest music. Practising your singing skills can have soothing effects on the process and may help your baby to fall asleep quickly.
During pregnancy there are certain dietary restrictions. But after pregnancy, most of them are pulled back and you are loaded with delicious treats made with generous amounts of ghee and raagi drinks which are yum. These are generally recommended to increase milk for the lactating mother and just too tasty to say no to.
Arguably, one of the biggest benefits of breast feeding for the mother will be that it helps her lose all the pregnancy weight and get back to her pre-pregnancy shape.
It is believed that breast feeding prevents tooth decays in children, reduces the risk of cavities and may lower the chances of needing braces in the future.
As per The National Institutes of Health’s review, women who did not breast feed had a higher risk of postpartum depression. Women feel relaxed during breast feeding as a hormone Oxytocin is released during the process which promotes relaxation.
A number of studies in the links cited earlier have found that longer the woman breast feeds, the more she is protected against breast and ovarian cancers. So if you are going to be a mother or going to be a mother again; if you know someone who is expecting a baby, let them know of these amazing benefits of breastfeeding, especially number 5!
Image via Unsplash
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Rucha Ogale, 29, is a Marketing Communication professional who is currently on a maternity break.
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