Breastfeeding is amongst the most effective ways to ensure a child's health and survival. However, nearly two out of every three infants are not exclusively breastfed for the recommended six months, a rate that has remained constant over the last two decades.
For infants, breastmilk is the best food. It is safe, clean, and contains antibodies that help protect children against a variety of illnesses. Breastmilk supplies all of an infant's energy and nutrients during the first few months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child's nutritional needs in the second half of the first year, and up to one-third of a child's nutritional needs in the second year.
Breastfed children perform better on IQ tests, are less likely to be overweight or obese as adults, and have a lower risk of developing diabetes later in life.
Breastfeeding should begin within the first hour of birth, and children should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their lives, according to WHO and UNICEF recommendations.
Breastfeeding should be done on-demand, which means as often as the child wants, at any time of day or night. There should be no bottles, teats, or pacifiers used.
Children should begin eating safe and adequate complementary foods at the age of 6 months and continue to breastfeed for up to 2 years and beyond.
• Breastfeeding mothers recover from childbirth more quickly and easily than non-breastfeeding mothers. The hormone oxytocin, which is produced during breastfeeding, aids in the uterus's return to normal size and can help to reduce postpartum bleeding.
• Breastfeeding has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, in women later in life, according to research.
•Exclusive breastfeeding can help extend the time between pregnancies by delaying the return of the mother's menstrual period.
• Breastfeeding produces the naturally relaxing hormones oxytocin and prolactin, which help the nursing mother relax and feel good.
• Mother and child have a stronger physical and emotional bond.
• Better immune systems for baby
• Diarrhoea, constipation, gastroenteritis, and gastroesophageal reflux will be less common in the baby.
•common Colds and respiratory infections such as pneumonia, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and whooping cough are becoming less common.
•There are fewer ear infections, especially those that cause hearing loss.
• Fewer cases of bacterial meningitis
• Improved vision and less retinopathy of prematurity
• Lower infant mortality rates
• SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) rates are lower (SIDS)