BENEFITS OF BREAST MILK
Benefit to the breastfed child
Breast milk is superior in quality for feeding infants and it is specific to the species i.e. human beings. All other feeding methods, however much superior they may be, differ significantly from the natural mother’s milk.
From the health point of view of the child and mother, breast-feeding is definitely advantageous as it improves the general health and development while there is a concomitant reduction in both acute and chronic diseases.
Recent research work involving global population especially, in people with advanced lifestyle, breast feeding significantly reduced the enteritis, reduced incidence of infection in respiratory tract, ear problems, urinary tract and necrotic infection in the intestines.
The scientific findings also dwell in detail regarding the advantages of breast-feeding in protecting the child against allergic disease, Crohn’s disease, cancerous growth in the lymphatic gland, sudden death syndrome in newborn and insulin dependent diabetes.
Benefit to the mother
Breast-feeding not only helps the child against various diseases but there is a lot of benefit to the mother as well. Breast feeding helps in improving the oxytocin level in the mother which helps in increased let down of milk from the mammary gland as well as improved uterine involution.
Continued lactation significantly reduces the blood loss during subsequent menstruous cycle, delay in the onset of ovulation, improved calcification of bones with reduced incidence of fractures especially in the hip region and decrease in the incidence of cancer of the ovary. In other words, the breast-feeding acts as a natural birth control device and definitely benefits the mother.
Predisposing factors for the use of milk formula
As the income among the parents increases, there is more likelihood of the new born to be fed with milk formula. Higher education in the mother, rather than promoting the breast milk feeding, makes a negative impact and force the newborn to depend on the formula.
Lack of support from the family, commercial promotion of bottle feeding and emphatic portrayal of milk formula in visual and print media all contribute to the apathy of the mother towards breast milk feeding.