The first week of August marks International Breastfeeding Week. Breastfeeding is natural and beautiful, it’s the best way a mother can nourish her newborn. According to the World Health Organization, it’s an absolute necessity for mothers to breastfeed their babies until they’re two years old. So for this whole week, the world celebrates giving birth, mothers and breastfeeding!
While breastfeeding has many benefits, it also comes with disadvantages, which are rarely talked about. Breastfeeding benefits both the mother and the child, but the disadvantages mainly affect the mother. In honor of International Breastfeeding Week, we give you its benefits, while shining a light on its disadvantages.
- Breastfeeding lowers the risks of the mother having breast cancer and uterine cancer.
- It stimulates the production of relaxing hormones in the mother like oxytocin and prolactin.
- Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of depression, high blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- A baby that’s breastfed has lower risks of health issues like diarrhea and constipation.
- A breastfed baby has lower rates of respiratory illnesses and fewer orthodontic and speech problems.
- The baby gets greater immunity to infections.
- Most importantly, breastfeeding creates a physical and emotional bond between the mother and the child; with skin-to-skin contact and eye contact, which makes the baby grow up feeling more secure and safe.
- Anything that goes into the mother’s body gets passed on to the baby, whether it’s medication, caffeine or any food the baby may be allergic to, which leads to the mother restricting her diet and being very careful with what she eats.
- It’s hard to know how much nutrition your baby is getting. But when using formula, you can track exactly how much your baby is drinking and how much nutrition he is receiving.
- Breastfeeding can be painful and uncomfortable for the mother. Mothers may experience swollen, enlarged and heavy breasts.
- When breastfeeding, breasts might leak milk at inconvenient times when a change of clothes isn’t accessible.
- When the baby starts sprouting teeth, the baby would rub its new teeth on the mother’s breast, which can be very painful and she would experience sore nipples.