Making the decision to breastfeed or formula feed your child is a tough one. While many babies have been nourished by formula milk, breastfeeding is still considered the best choice for babies. There are many paediatricians who believe that the benefits of breastfeeding override the benefits of formula milk.
Dr. Tauseef Rauf is a Child Specialist in Lahore, with extensive knowledge and domain experience. He is an FCPS paediatrics and is currently working in Chugtai Medical Centre, Lahore.
In his session with oladoc, he touched on a very important subject: breastfeeding, its importance, and advantages for the child. The discussion also covers fundamental diet plan for the newborn as well as benefits of breastfeeding for mothers.
Q.1. Why is breast milk important for a newborn baby?
Well, I believe that breastfeeding is not just highly nutritious but it acts like the first “vaccine” for the child. It provides natural antibodies that help the baby resist illnesses. So, it is not comparable to any other milk.
Q.2. What are the benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and the baby?
Yes, surely, breastfeeding is not just beneficial for the baby but for the mother as well. Benefits for mothers include;
Breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin, that helps the uterus to go back to its pre-pregnancy state. Moreover, it also helps reduce uterine bleeding after birth.
Breastfeeding also helps the mother to maintain long-term health and reduce the chances of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, blood pressure.
Benefits for the child include that is the perfect blend of nourishment for the child and also contains antibodies that help fight the illnesses. Moreover, with breastfeeding the mother need not worry about the health of the child. Lastly, breastfeeding doesn’t require sterilisation and bottle heating.
Q.3. Does a child need water while they are breastfeeding?
No, they don’t. In fact, for the first six months, we recommend exclusive breastfeeding. The mother should feed the child from every breast for 15 minutes.
Q.4. How long is it safe to be exclusively breastfed?
Well, there is a clear recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. After the six months, continue breastfeeding and introduce soft and solid foods.
Q.5. What is the average age for a child to stop breastfeeding?
Well, a mother can breastfeed her child for 2 years. After this, the child must be weaned off.
To learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding for the baby, you can watch the full interview below. Consult a pediatrician for the nutritional needs of the baby.