Worldwide, less than 40% of infants under six months receive breast milk as exclusive food, according to the World Health Organization. The exclusive feeding with breastfeeding during the first 6 months has many benefits.
Many women have problems at the beginning to breastfeed their children because their nipples hurt or because they fear not having enough milk to keep their baby. These are just some of the most common problems. However, there are many more advantages than disadvantages .
The World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World Breastfeeding Week every year from 1 to 7 August to spread the benefits of feeding babies exclusively with breast milk during the first months of life. However, the data offered by the organization indicate that only 38% of babies are breastfed worldwide .
Breastfeeding should start from the first hour of the baby's life. This organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months to offer babies optimal growth, development and health. In the following months and up to 2 years, breastfeeding should not be abandoned, although it must be combined with solid foods such as fruit or vegetable purees, which, as reported by the WHO, should be administered with a spoon or cup, not with feeding bottle.
There are numerous advantages, both for the baby and for the mother. Breast milk provides all the nutrients that newborns need for healthy development. It also contains antibodies that help protect children from frequent childhood illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia.. And it supposes a reduction of the risk of suffering gastrointestinal infections. Research has shown that in the long term, breastfeeding promotes good health for the child throughout his life because it reduces the risk of overweight or obesity and suffer from type 2 diabetes. In addition, a curious fact is that breastfed babies get better results in intelligence tests.
Breastfeeding also has benefits for the mother. Breastfeeding helps to achieve a much faster weight loss after delivery, to return to the figure of before and, delays the return of menstruation. Also breastfeeding your child reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in the future , according to the World Health Organization.