Fact: The Rate of Exclusive breastfeeding (for the crucial first 6 months) in India is 55%
Fact: Less than 50% of children born here are breastfed within the first hour of birth.
In 2018 India, with half the children born in the country being denied the best start to life not only incurs 99’499 infant deaths a year but also cost healthcare close to 25 billion in the same time span!
All this and it could be easily prevented? Read on to find out why you need to support and promote this potentially lifesaving practice:
- Breast milk provides new born’s with their first vaccine against the dangerous world beyond the womb by providing them with colostrum which contains powerful antibodies from the mother coupled with growth factor to help the baby grow strong and even clear their gut.
- It contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, something no baby formula can compete with.
- Breastfeeding can potentially save your baby’s life in the years to come as research indicates it wards of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and a lot more.
- Feeding the baby can even promote calmness in the baby and enable the child to have better social skills later in life (owing to the skin to skin contact)
If these benefits weren’t enough to convince you here are 2 exclusively for Mama!
- It has healing powers: It Can help ease postpartum bleeding, promote healing (one study even shows women who breastfeed take less sick days from work than those who don’t) in the mother and even foster feelings of calmness and well being (especially vital to women facing postpartum blues!)
- It can help you lose the extra baggage: your post-pregnancy weight can be halved through breastfeeding alone which consumes 25% of calories, that’s even more than your brain which uses 20%. In addition to burning what you eat the fat cells stored in the mother’s body are broken down to aid in milk production.
It’s therefore very important to not only promote breastfeeding and support it but to also acknowledge our role in society towards encouraging the practice as every new mother in India can breastfeed, if society, family and the health care system work together!