Exclusive Breastfeeding - Nanny Heart

Benefits of breast milk during the first six months of life.

What is it?

Exclusive breastfeeding (SCI) is a type of feeding that involves the baby receiving only breast milk and no other solid or liquid food except for moisturizing solutions, vitamins, minerals or medications.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF recommend that this be maintained during the first six months of life and it is suggested that it begins in the first hour of life after childbirth, that it be on demand and that the use of infant formulas be avoided.

Despite this, in Mexico, only 1 in 3 babies receive breast milk as an exclusive food until 6 months. Many receive additional foods or liquids from their first month of life such as formulas, cow's milk or another animal, and sugary drinks.

To enable mothers to initiate and maintain exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, WHO and UNICEF recommend:

  • breastfeeding begins in the first hour of life;
  • the infant receives only breast milk, without any other food or drink, not even water;
  • that breastfeeding be done on demand, that is, as often as the child wants, both day and night;
  • that bottles, nipples or pacifiers are not used.

Benefits of breast milk - Nanny Heart

Benefits of breastfeeding for the baby

Breast milk is the first natural food for infants. It provides all the energy and nutrients the child needs in the first few months of life, and continues to meet half or more of the child's nutritional needs during the second half of life, and up to a third during the second year.

Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development, and protects the infant from infectious diseases and chronic diseases. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces infant mortality from common childhood illnesses, such as diarrhoea or pneumonia, and helps faster recovery from illnesses.

In addition to providing children with all the necessary nutrients and hydration, breastfeeding provides emotional and psychological benefits to both the baby and the mother, and helps families avoid additional expenses in formulas, bottles and, by promoting the best health of the baby, also reduces expenses in medical consultations and medicines.

Benefits of breastfeeding for the mother

Breastfeeding not only benefits babies but also mothers, since in the short term it helps their physical recovery, for example, it decreases the risk of bleeding after birth and reduces the risk of postpartum depression.

In the long term, it helps to reduce the chances of developing ovarian cancer, breast cancer, type II diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks, anemia and osteoporosis.

Exclusive Breastfeeding - Nanny Heart

Benefits for society

Breastfeeding contributes to the development of countries as it helps reduce costs to treat diseases such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension, among others.

In Mexico, it is estimated that the cost associated with the health of the child for a bad practice of breastfeeding ranges from $ 745.6 million to $ 2,416.5 million annually, and of these figures the cost of infant formula represents from 11 to 38%.

In addition, breastfeeding helps in the care of the environment because it does not produce waste since it avoids the use of polluting materials for advertising, packaging and transport.

Text by: Itzel Buenrostro - Nurse Nanny

Images: pxhere.com & pixabay.com

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