World Breastfeeding Week is observed from August 1 to 7. Breastfeeding is a natural way to feed your newborn and ensure that the baby gets the required nutrition. While baby formula is readily available, it cannot match up to the nutrients found in a mother’s milk. And so, it is important that every new mother breastfeeds her baby for the first few months at least. Even though it is a natural process, many new mothers have trouble breastfeeding their child due to improper latching and have several questions that they wish they knew the answers too. If you are pregnant or a new mom, here are some things that you should know about breastfeeding. (ALSO SEE Top tips for breastfeeding) Also Read - WHAT? Breastfeeding Woman Reveals She Can Shoot Milk Out of Her Armpit | See Weird Video

WHO recommends every mother to breastfeed

World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that every mother breastfeed her child a few hours after the baby is born. For the first six months, the baby should only be breastfed and no other food or liquid should be given to the baby. After six months, women should still continue breastfeeding till the baby turns one. They can even continue until the baby is two. Also Read - Yoga Instructor Shraddha Iyer on Yoga Asanas For Breastfeeding Mothers

Mother’s milk has more nutrition for the baby

Unlike infant formula, a mother’s milk that is produced naturally in the body is much more nutritive in nature and benefits the child’s health. Even if you have difficulty breastfeeding your baby, remember that you can always take help so that your baby does not miss out on those nutrients that your milk has. Breast milk that is produced right after the baby is born helps the baby’s immunity and has minerals, vitamins, amino acids, white blood cells and antibodies. Later, mature milk is produced that keeps the baby full and has nutrition that can help in the baby’s cognitive development, prevent allergies and decreases the risk of other diseases. Also Read - World Breastfeeding Week: Nutrients That Lactating Mothers Must Have

Breastfeeding is beneficial for mothers too

If you thought breastfeeding is only beneficial for the baby, here’s some news for you, it is also good for the mother. According to studies, it decreases the risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and postpartum depression in a woman. It also helps with post pregnancy weight loss, helps the uterus shrink and reduces blood loss after delivery. Breastfeeding also delays menstruation after pregnancy and has both short-term and long-term health benefits for mothers. (ALSO SEE Benefits of breastfeeding for you and your baby)

You can pump and store breast milk

Many a times, mothers are unable to breastfeed their baby because the milk is not ready when the baby needs it or they are out in the public where they cannot breastfeed or are not with their baby throughout the day. However, breast milk can be pumped and stored in bottles and can be used to feed the infant when they are hungry. This way, you do not have to rely on baby formula when you cannot breastfeed. Breast pumps are easily available these days and you can store the milk in bottles or plastic bags in the refrigerator so that it stays hygienic. (ALSO SEE Here’s how long breast milk stays fresh)

How much milk your baby needs

While it is difficult to have an accurate number of how much milk your baby needs, you can asses if your infant is getting enough breast milk if they show these signs: they require eight to 12 feedings every 24 hours, the duration of each feed is about 10-20 minutes on each breast, the baby requires five to six diaper changes per day and starts gaining weight every week.

These are some of the things new mothers ought to know about breastfeeding so that they do not disregard it and make sure that their newborn stays healthy.

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