Importance of Breasfeeding

12 March 2021

by Dr Ashley Chung, Fertility Specialist, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Adequate nutrition is important and essential to ensure the full potential growth and development of children. It is well recognized that breastfeeding is beneficial for both mother and child, as breast milk is consider the best source of nutrient to the infant.Breast milk contains all the nutrients that baby needs in the right proportions. Its compositions even changes according to the baby’s changing needs. Breast milk is also loaded with antibodies that help baby to fight against all kinds of viruses and bacterias, especially at their early days of life. Most importantly, breastfeeding is so convenient that no preparation needed, no bottles needed, no hassle of sterilizing bottles and teats or facing difficulties in choosing the right formula milk.

Moreover,exclusive breastfeeding ( meaning infant only receive breast milk) within the first 6 months has benefits to reduce risks of infection in your baby, such as middle ear infection , airway infection , gut infection , bowel diseases, diabetes, allergies, cold and diabetes. Besides that, breastfeeding also promotes healthy weight gain and helps prevent childhood obesity. Studies showed that breastfeeding had a significant reduction in the chances of a baby developing overweight and obesity.Breastfed babies have higher amount of beneficial gut bacteria, which may affect fat storage. Babies fed breast milk also have more leptin in their systems than formula-fed babies. Leptin is a hormone for regulating appetite and fat storage.

On the other hand, breastfeeding does bring many other benefits to the mummy. Breastfeeding enhance the relationship between mother and baby. The eyes contact and skin to skin touching , the close physical contact help the baby to have stronger bond with mother, and provide security to both mother and baby too.Mother who breastfeed do return to their pre pregnancy weight faster, as lactating mother burns more calories and more fat during breastfeeding. After delivery, mother’s uterus goes through a process called involution ( meaning that the uterus shrink to the pre pregnancy size ) with the help of a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin level increases during breastfeeding. Thus, breastfeeding does encourage uterus contraction , reduce bleeding and helping the uterus to return to the previous size.Breastfeeding mother has lower risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease and type 2 diabetes too.

By choosing breastfeeding, you know that your baby is getting the best source of nutrient from you and you won’t have to spend money on formula milk, calculate how much your baby needs daily, spend time cleaning and sterilizing bottles and teats, carry extra bags for bottles and formula milk storage when you are out of house, mix or warm up bottles in the middle of night or on the go. Breast milk is always classified as the best source of milk to infant as it is always fresh, perfectly clean , always at the right temperature and it is at healthy choice at least cost.

Hence, breastmilk is the best gift for your baby.