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For the optimal growth,development and health of your child, WHO and HPB has been actively promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a baby’s life. As a first-time mum, I know exactly of the anxieties and uncertainties about breastfeeding that other mums may have during pregnancy and the first few weeks of their little one’s life including questions revolving, “Will my baby know how to latch on for feeding?” or ” Will I have sufficient milk supply for my baby?”.
Although I was apprehensive about the thought of exclusive breastfeeding, breastfeeding can have many benefits tagged to it if done correctly, for both baby and mummy.
Firstly, breastfeeding is best for our baby for the following reasons, (1) the close body contact and interaction creates a special bond between us and our baby, (2) our breast milk contains all the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients for our baby’s complete growth and development, (3) antibodies in our breast milk provide immunity for our baby, reducing their risk of intestinal, ear and respiratory infections and (4) our breast milk is suited for our baby and will make them less likely to develop stomach upsets, constipation and diarrhoea.
Furthermore, breastfeeding does have many benefits for mums like me as well, for example, (1) early suckling have been shown to help our womb contract thus reducing blood loss after child birth, (2) it delays the return of our menstrual period and thus acts as a natural although imperfect contraceptive, (3) we burn calories during breastfeeding and this helps to shed the weight gained during our pregnancy and (4) our risk of developing breast, ovarian and womb cancers are lowered.
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