Breastfeeding is regarded as the best way to provide infants with the right nutrients, especially during the first six months of their life.
It is for this reason that health experts advise mothers to breastfeed their babies exclusively during the first six months, and continue doing so even after the child starts weaning until they attain the age of at least two years.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding provides a lot of benefits for both mother and child. These include:
- Bonding between mother and child
- It provides ideal nourishment for the infant.
- It enables the baby’s body to fight infections and other illnesses since it strengthens their immune system.
- It costs nothing and is readily available.
- It helps the mother to burn calories and helps shrink the uterus hence she may be able to regain her pre-pregnancy shape and weight faster.
Cases Where a Mother May Not Be Able to Breastfeed
Though it is highly advocated, breastfeeding may not be possible for all mothers. Such cases are such as:
- Mothers living with HIV/Aids may not be able to breastfeed their babies.
- Medical conditions that involve chemotherapy or treatment with certain medicines can make breastfeeding unsafe.
- Mothers who have undergone breast surgery may also have difficulty with their milk supply if their milk ducts have been severed.
In these cases, it is always best to consult with your doctor.
For moms who can’t breastfeed because of one reason or the other, infant formula is the best alternative that provides babies with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. Like breast milk, formula is ideal for babies from birth. Read more on the benefits of formula feeding here.
For mothers whose babies do not get enough breast milk, they can always opt to supplement breast milk with formula to ensure that the child gets enough nourishment. Working mothers may also choose to supplement their milk to ensure the baby has enough supply until they are ready to wean.
Please note that development differs from one child to another. Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.
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Last reviewed March 2019