Importance of breastfeeding

Newborns need milk which is a natural food for survival, growth and development.
Breast milk is secreted by the 'mammary gland' through a process called “lactation”. This process depend on prolactin and oxytocin hormones, secreted by the pituitary gland.

Since decades, breast milk has been announced as the best food for newborns during their first six months of life.

Breast feeding might not be given to newborns due to some reasons such as:
  • Lack of awareness of breast milk benefit.
  • Advanced food Technology.
  • Food industries advertisement of body food products.
  • Working nursing mothers.
  • Fear of breast sagging.

Nutrient composition of human milk is essential than cow’s milk.

  • Breast milk contains protein which is needed by newborns for optimum growth human milk contains mainly lactalbumin whereas cow’s milk has casein. 
  • Carbohydrate in form of lactose is present in higher levels which facilitates the absorption of magnesium and calcium 
  • Lipids which are less saturated and very easily digestible. This help infants to regulate caloric intake and gain weight.
  • Minerals: the human milk contains minerals such as calcium, low sodium, irun.
  • Vitamins: breast milk contains varieties of vitamins A, C, D and E. These vitamins helps to percent nutritional deficiencies like xerophthalmia, ceratomalacia and rickets which occurs in the first years of artificially fed infants life but rare among breast fed babies. 

Adequate diet is important during pregnancy and lactation because it ensures quality of breast milk composition and its flow.
  • A poorly fed pregnant and lactating common is more prone to produce poor quality milk. 
  • Inadequate energy intake. Adequate energy intake is vital for normal milk flow, when energy in take is low, milk production will be reduced. A well fed lactating (nursing) mother is expected to eject 850ml of breast milk by day. 
  • Rest and adequate fluid intake.Plenty of fluid such as water orange, juice and milk is needed during pregnancy and lactating, thus contribute to the flow of breast milk.
  • Likewise rest is important because an anxious nursing mother well not produce milk freely as other women who enough rest. 
  • Anxiety

Advantage of breast milk will be discussed in two categories:
  • The infant
  •  The lactating (breastfeeding) Mother 

The Infant
  • Aids easy digestion and assimilation.
  • Promotes healthier baby.
  • Promotes material affection between mother and child.
  • Breast milk protects newborns against allergic, disease such as eczema.
  • Immediate satisfaction to infants. 
  • Enhances protection form diarrheal disease, the second leading causes of childhood morbidity and mortality in children.
  • Low or rate of infent death.
  •  Less danger of susceptible to contamination of gastrointestinal problems.
  • Derives sense of security and belonging.
  • Colostrums(yellow milk) makes the infant less prone to infetion. 
  • Colostrom contains high proteins minerals and immunoglobulin (antibodies) which protects infents from bacteria and viral infections from bacteria and viral infections such as polio,measles and other respiratory infections.

Lactating (breastfeeding) mother
  • Breast milk is natural and cheaper when compared to artificial foods. 
  • Breast milk is available 24 hours of the day.Early in trodction of breast milk to infants after delivery enhances the control of blood loses.
  • Prolonged duration of breast feeding delays the returns of menstrustion (post-partum amennorrhea).
  •  Breast feeding reduces the chance of breast cancer in mothers. 
  • Method but its reliability depends on high frequency and prolonged duration of breast feeding. 
  • Used as a form of contraceptive sucking reflexes during breast feeding induce the alerts to contract and thereby goes back to its normal position and size. This contraction helps in minimizing blood loss after child birth.

According to UNICEF report, "about 60% of the world’s population infants are missing out of recommended six months of exclusive breastfeeding".
Every year the “world breastfeeding” is celebrated from August 1 to 7 with the good objective to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health  of babies worldwide.

According to the information released by the world health organization (WHO), the theme for 2019 World Breastfeeding week “empower parents, enable breastfeeding". The aim of this theme is to create and increase awareness to parents about the merits of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months both to the infant and to mother.

Every newborn baby has the right to good nutrition according to the convention on the right of the child (World Health Organization released).
According to the data collected by the United Nations Globally in 2016, 41 million children are obese while 1 ss million children under were estimated to be stunted (tro short for age) globally. 
According to the WHO to this estimated that increased breastfeed could prevent 20, 000 maternal deaths each year due to breast cancer.
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of developing breast, ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes in mothers.

WHO Recommendations:
  • Breastfeeding for the first six months is vital mothers should intake breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  •  Newborns should be breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health to meet their evolving nutritional requirement.
  • Breastfeeding should continue for up to two- years or beyond.
  • Colostrum, the yellowish, sticky breast milk produced at the end of pregnancy is recommend by WHO as the perfect food for the newborns and feeding should be initiated within the first hour after birth and support should be given to lactating mothers by friends, colleagues, employers, health care system and the society at large.
  • WHO is working with UNICEF and partners to promote the importance of family friendly policies to enable breastfeed and help parents nurture and bond with their children in early life, which is crucial. 

  • Eat a healthy, adequate diet consisting of carbohydrates,protein,vitamins,fats and oil and minerals.
  • Avoid unexunneces worries.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Take in about 500 extra calories  a day
  • Ensure intake of the prenatal vitamins
  • Avoid eating poorly, so as not to deplete your body and baby of nutrients needed.
  •  Just should be ingested in moderation along with your adequate diet.
  • Loose weight slowly, not more than one kg a week. Rapid weight loss can decrease milk production.
  • Eat lots of vegetables and fruits.
  • Feed newborns on demand.
  • Avoid the use of weight loss pills,this can reduce supply of breast milk.
  • Engaging in exercise is an important part of your well-being as a breastfeeding mother. take a nice, brisk walk every day.
  • Take your bath after exercising or working
  • Breastfeed your baby before you start to exercise or work.
  • Do not wear tight or oversized bra,wear acomfortable the right bra, .Tight bras causes restriction that puts excessive pressure on your breast tissue leading to plugged milk ducts or mmastitis.
  • Wear a dry, clean nursing bra every day, and change it during the day if it gets wets.
  • Bath every day.
  • Clean your breasts before and after breastfeeding.
  • Use a moisturizing soap and rinse it off thoroughly.
  • Breast pads should be changed often.
  • Ask for support from husband or families.
  • Ensure adequate rest and sleep.
  • If any discomfort like sore nipples or plugged milk ducts is noticed, visit a reputable hospital and make complaints.

  • Encourage with love and care.
  • Offer her drinks.
  • Don't put pressure on her.
  • Understand her.
  • Take the baby to her for breastfeeding.
  • Attend a breastfeeding seminar.
  • Focus on mother and baby.
  • Help Mom with adjusting pillows during breastfeeding.
  • Provide adequate food and water.
  • Change baby's diaper.
  • Give moms massage.
  • Spend more time with Mom and baby.
  • Help with bathing of baby.
  • Hold and cuddle baby.
  • Encourage moms to take extra sleep after breastfeeding.
  • Be supportive.
  • Give wife time for her  body to recover physically and emotionally to start having sex again.

  • Paid maternity leave for a minimum of 18 weeks.
  • Paid paternity leave to encourage should responsibility of caring for children equally.
  • Provide access to breastfeed breaks.
  • Provide a safe, private and hygienic space for expressing and storing breast milk.
  • Provide affordable childcare/crèche


  • Breastfeeding reduces work absenteesim.
  • Increases participation of women in the workplace.
  • Motivates staff and increases productivity.
  • prod to establish maintain exclusive breastfeeding.
  • Enable parents to nurture and provide equality care to children. 
  • Supports the baby’s early development.


  • Supports mothers choice to breastfeed.
  • Reduces risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
  • Improves health, recovery and mental well-being of mother.

Anytime, anywhere we can all help  made society breastfeeding friendly.

  • Hospitals should support mothers to breastfeed by Not promoting infant formula bottles or traits, making breastfeed care standard practice and keeping track of supports for breastfeeding train staff in supporting mothers to breastfeed.
  • Assessing worker’s knowledge and skills.
  • Let mothers and babies stay together day and night, encourage skin for contact between mother and baby after birth, help mothers to put their babies to breast right way counsel mothers on the use and risks of feeding but the teats and pacifiers.    

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