August in Breastfeeding Awareness Month, in an effort to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding and encourage an end to the stigma and unfortunate embarrassment many mothers face.
Did you know that only 40% of women believe that it is appropriate to breastfeed in a public space? There is also a severe lack of facilities for working women to breastfeed and so many turn to formulas instead for convenience and to save themselves the embarrassment of being asked to leave a public space.
This has negative impacts not only on the child but the mother too, as highlighted by the following benefits of breastfeeding:
1. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most babies.
Breast milk provides ideal nutrition and supports growth and development. As the baby grows, the mother’s breast milk will change to meet her baby’s nutritional needs.
2. Breastfeeding can help protect babies against some short- and long-term illnesses and diseases.
Breastfed babies have a lower risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Breastfed babies are also less likely to have ear infections and stomach bugs.
3. Breastmilk shares antibodies from the mother with her baby.
Breastfeeding passes antibodies from the mother to her baby. These antibodies help protect baby from illnesses and develop a strong immune system.
4. Breastfeeding can reduce the mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Breastfeeding has health benefits for the mother too! Some cancers, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure are less common among women who breastfeed.