What is actually exclusive breastfeeding? Exclusive breastfeeding is when a child, starting from an hour after birth to six months, receives ONLY breast milk without additional food, drink or water. While it may sound like hard work, it is important to know that exclusive breastfeeding is the most recommended form of breastfeeding as it has benefits for both child and mother.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
- It reduces the risk of the development of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2-diabetes and heart diseases in mothers which could avert about 20, 000 maternal deaths caused by breast cancer alone.
- It lowers baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies because of its numerous antibodies.
- Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development of the infant.
- Breast milk, because of its high nutritional value, protects the child from infectious and chronic diseases which will eventually lead to frequent trips to the doctors.
- It also helps to prevent child obesity and promotes healthy weight.
- For mothers, it helps them shed the gained weight during pregnancy.
- It also strengthens the bond between mother and child.
- It can also help delay ovulation and menstruation which allows for some spacing between pregnancies.
- It is cost effective as you do not have to buy expensive baby formulas.
- What other benefits do you suggest should be among those mentioned?