The first time I was requested to write an academic paper for my Communication Research class, I wrote on the Importance of Breastfeeding for mothers in Kenya. My lecturer was a little bit dissapointed in me because being a communication student, she expected me to write on topics such as the place of women in media, How to be involved in Participatory Communication development or any other topic that directly touched on Media and Communication.
Least said, I did my research, handed in my paper and got a good grade for it! i must say it was worth it! otherwise, what information would I be sharing with you today? I will start with asking this question; How important really is breastfeeding to both mother and child? The most reliable source when it comes to such matters is research. Statistics show that 80% of children who are breastfed have lower risks of getting infection. This simply means that by breastfeeding, you are giving your child an opportunity for a healthy and productive lifestyle!
What then is breastfeeding? it simply means feeding the baby with milk from the breast. Breastmilk is the only meal the baby takes for the first six months of his/her life and therefore forms a very essential part of every human's life. This being the case, the mother should ensure that she breastfeeds the baby as often as possible. Breast milk is also very advantageous to both mother and child in many ways. Important to note is the fact that it is even more advantageous to the mother despite the many negative beliefs associated to it.
To the mother, (1) breastfeeding helps her to bond with her baby as it feeds, (2) helps the uterus go back to its normal size, (3) it helps her with spacing of children, (4) helps the mother to reduce weight after giving birth, (5) reduces the risk of the mother getting breast and ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes. In addition to all this, brestfeeding also helps to reduce the worry that comes with bottlefeeding because of issues of infections that results from lack of cleanliness.
To the baby, (1)breastmilk contains colostrum which protects the baby from infections during the first six months of its life before the baby begins weaning, (2) helps the baby bond with its mother, (3) reduces the risks of the baby getting infections, and diseases such as allergies, diabetes and asthma (3) reduces the likelihood of the baby being obese because breastmilk is well balanced unlike processed milk which contains a lot of fat.
It is important to note however that there are many misconceptions associated with breastfeeding that stop a lot of women from doing it- Many believe that breastfeeding makes their breasts sag, makes the baby weak and too dependant and results to women loosing their shape. I choose to disagree for obvious reasons stated above. The first priority for any parent should be the well being of their children. If breastfeeding provides a step towards achieving this, what else could be better? Compared to bottlefeeding which many women prefer, Breastfeedng helps prevent alot of infections, is always at the right temprature, is available (you dont buy it) and is environment friendly!
Enough said, lets breastfeed our children and offer them an opportunity for a healthy lifestyle! Lets also join together during World Breastfeeding week every year, from 1st August to 7th August to educate our women and soon to be mothers on the Importance of Breastfeeding for them and their baby.
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