Benefits of exclusive breastfeeding

Merits of exclusive breastfeeding

THE MERITS OF  EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING

The act of breastfeeding is not unknown as every expectant mother looks forward to it.  the introductory question here is, has exclusive breastfeeding done more harm than good?. The information that will be provided in this article will help to answer the above question.

First of all, let's look into the proper definitions of important and basic words in the context and they are; merits, exclusive, and breastfeeding. Merits can be seen as something deserving good awareness/recognition, a claim to commendation or reward, something worthy of a high-value rating, or the standard/quality of deserving reward. Exclusive on its own part refers to excluding items or members that do not meet certain conditions. While breastfeeding is to feed a baby milk via the breasts; to suckle. It is opposed to bottle feeding.

Therefore, exclusive breastfeeding can be explained as the decision to breastfeed a baby only on breast milk excluding other food items for a particular period of time especially for six months or as decided by the nursing mother. It is a situation whereby a nursing mother decides to feed her baby solely on breast milk for a period of time. 


ADVANTAGES OF EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING

 

1: DETERRENT TO ANTIBIOTICS:

It is general knowledge that babies at birth are easily prone to diseases as their body immune system is not strong enough to fight off diseases. In this case, exclusive breastfeeding which involves only feeding breast milk to the baby is advised because the probability to contact with any of the diseases is low. This is because it is scientifically proven that breast milk contains some antibodies that help to fight against diseases and thus aid to boost the immune system of the baby.

Also, the breast milk comes straight from the breast and thus is sterile because it doesn't come in contact with anything that tends to contaminate it, unlike bottle-feeding which has a high risk of contamination because the bottle from which the baby is fed can be transferred from one person to another thus causing the spread of the virus to the baby.

 

2: IT PREVENTS THE OCCURRENCE OF PREGNANCY TO THE MOTHER:

Breastfeeding is an assured method to prevent pregnancy for a nursing mother. As the baby suckles, hormones are released into the system of the nursing mother to prevent the occurrence of pregnancy.


3: IT AIDS IN THE MOTHER AND INFANT BONDING:

The skin-to-skin contact between a mother and baby during breastfeeding creates a bond between the mother and child. The baby gets to sense and feel the presence of its mother during breastfeeding as it is in direct contact with its mother. The mother on the other hand also gets to feel her baby, they share a unique bond that only both can identify.

They transmit informations during this bonding that helps each to understand what is going on with the other. This bonding helps in the relationship between mother and child in years to come. This period of bonding between a mother and her newborn cannot be over-emphasized because this is a time they get to know each other better.  A baby can only be able to sense its mother's presence because it has been in constant contact with her.


4: IT GUARANTEES MAXIMUM SATISFACTION BY THE BABY

Exclusive breastfeeding guarantees Maximum satisfaction in terms of food for the baby. When breastfeeding a baby, the baby tends to continue suckling till it is satisfied.

There are no limitations to the amount of breast milk available to a baby as long as the two breasts of the mother are concerned. But bottle-feeding doesn't guarantee Maximum satisfaction because there is a limitation to the amount of its content available to a baby at a particular point in time.

 

REASONS WHY SOME MOTHERS DON'T ADOPT THE EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING METHOD
 

1. Career:

In this generation, women are no longer dependent on their male partners. They have joined the labor force. A lot of them have engaged themselves in a lot of skills and professions. And some of these professions are tasking, demanding, and time-consuming. Thus, nursing mothers in this category may not have the time to sit at home and breastfeed their babies for such a long time so they tend to introduce other food supplements to their baby at an early age in other to supplement what breast milk gives them.

Businesswomen, female doctors, and lawyers are very busy people and thus may not adopt the exclusive method of breastfeeding. But women under the category of housewives, teachers, and also entrepreneurs can welcome the idea.


2: Peer influence:

According to some researchers who have gone on field works on the issue of exclusive breastfeeding, it has been recorded that a lot of women don't adopt it due to the fact that they have been advised by either family or friends not to. These mothers decided to take decisions based on the experience of other people. So peer pressure or influence can be seen as another reason why some mothers don't adopt the exclusive method of breastfeeding.
 

Other reasons may include the following:

1: Inability to satisfy baby with breast milk may be due to insufficiency to provide enough breast milk by mothers and thus leads to a weight loss of the baby.

2:  Personal or freewill choice of the mother, who may decide not to adopt the method without any significant reason.

3: The overdemanding needs of some babies can cause mothers to choose bottle-feeding over exclusive breastfeeding as they cannot meet up to the insistent demands of the baby.

4: Ill health by the mother is also an important reason why the exclusive breastfeeding method may not be considered because the mother may not have enough stamina to do that. Also, the health conditions of the nursing mother are considered because a method tends to pass some certain diseases to their baby during the course of breastfeeding. So in such situations, the babies are placed on hold other food supplements till the recovery of the mother.

 

ADVICE TO NURSING MOTHERS

1: Avoid the intake of caffeine.

2: Avoid the intake of alcohol.

3: Avoid the intake of cigarettes.

4: Avoid eating unhealthy foods. 

5: Increase intake of fluids e.g Water.

Nursing mothers should be careful of the things that eat or infuse into their bodies because those things can be passed to the baby through breast milk and thus affect the baby in one way or the other.
 

In conclusion, exclusive breastfeeding has not done any major harm to either mother or baby however, certain exceptions can be taken into consideration in extreme situations.

In fact, exclusive breastfeeding has helped to salvage conditions of poverty because the mother would have to feed her baby only on breast milk and wouldn't need to bother about buying other food supplements at least for a particular period of time. Therefore, exclusive breastfeeding is highly recommended because of its advantages well enumerated in this passage.


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