The health benefits of breastfeeding cannot be stressed enough. Doctors say that breast milk contains immunity-boosting components that can keep a newborn healthy. But beyond the newborn stage, for how long should a mother continue to feed her child? If you are curious about this question, we bring you the answer.
On Instagram, the page Freedom To Feed — actor Neha Dhupia’s breastfeeding and parenting initiative — shared a post that highlighted the benefits of breastfeeding at various stages of infancy. Take a look.
According to this information, newborn milk, called colostrum, is a laxative that helps remove “sticky meconium”. Colostrum is understood to protect the baby’s sensitive gut in the just-born stage.
When the baby turns a month old, the oxytocin released from nursing bonds the mother and the child. It helps the new mother’s uterus to go back to its original size. It also helps to lower the risk of hospitalisation for the baby.
By the time the baby turns four months old, breastfeeding lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In addition to that, the long-term risk of asthma is also lowered, along with the mother’s risk of postpartum depression.
At the six-month age, the baby is ready for solid foods, but by continuing to breastfeed, some cancer risks are reduced. When the baby turns nine months old, and is not into solid foods, you can continue to breastfeed them that can provide them all the nutrition.
At 12 months, breastfeeding reduces a baby’s lifelong risk of heart disease, several cancers, high blood pressure, and other chronic diseases. At 18 months, if you continue to breastfeed, it will give nutritional insurance to your child when they are ill, while also providing hydration. The antibodies in breast milk continue to support the immune system.