A lot of research and health practitioners recognize that breast milk (ASI) is the best natural food for babies . Exclusive breastfeeding without any additional food is highly recommended for infants up to 6 months old. Unfortunately, rates of exclusive breastfeeding in Indonesia is still low, which amounted to 42% based on Indonesia Demographic Health Survey in 2013 ago.
This number has actually increased by 10% compared to 2007, but still far short of the expected, ie 100%. The low rates of exclusive breastfeeding is caused by many factors. As milk tough it out, the bustle of the capital, an ad affected infant formula, to a lack of knowledge of mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding.
The benefits of breastfeeding for babies
There are still many women who do not know that breastfeeding not only have short-term benefits, but also long-term for the baby. Breastfeeding is very important for physical and mental health of the mother. No wonder the campaign more intensively promoted exclusive breastfeeding in Indonesia. Consider the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies following.
Protect infants from various diseases
Colostrum, the pre-milk fluid produced by the mother in the final stages of pregnancy until a few days after birth, is rich in compounds of immunoglobulin A (IgA). These compounds are able to form a protective layer in the mucous membrane of the intestines, nose, and throat baby to fight various diseases. IgA is also produced specifically appropriate response to the mother’s body against viruses and certain pathogenic bacteria so it is in accordance with the conditions of the infant.
Mothers who give birth prematurely also specifically suitable to produce milk for the baby. This milk contains colostrum composition similar to that can increase the body resistance, especially in the first 1 month after delivery.
Various studies indicate that the incidence of lower respiratory disorder, a stomach virus, diarrhea, ear infections, and meningitis was lower in breast-fed infants. Similarly with type 1 diabetes, type 2, hypertension, high cholesterol, colitis, and cancer.
Protect babies from allergies and asthma
protective layer formed IgA also useful to prevent allergic reactions in infants. Without it, the inflammation can be formed and weaken the intestinal wall. As a result, undigested proteins that can cause allergies and other health problems.
Breast milk is more easily digested by babies than formula because it contains enzymes that help the digestive process. Despite the lower protein content of breast milk than cow’s milk, whole proteins in milk can be digested by babies. While about half the protein in cow’s milk will be wasted and potentially cause allergies. Infants fed formula even higher potential to suffer from allergies and asthma.
Preventing visual impairment
Studies in Africa revealed that breastfeeding is very important for the child’s visual development. Exclusive breastfeeding can protect preschool children from night blindness. Because breast milk is the main source of vitamin A within 24 months of a child’s life so necessary to optimize vision. ASI also has a natural antibiotic that can fight eye infections.
Improving infant intelligence
Many studies show a link between breastfeeding and cognitive development of children. One of them, more than 17 thousand babies followed its development from birth until the age of 6.5 years. Babies who are exclusively breast-fed and breast-fed afterwards still have an increase in cognitive development significantly more visits than the results of IQ tests and other intelligence tests.
Premature infants with very low weight that is immediately fed with breast milk has also increased mental development at 18 months of age compared to other premature babies. The higher they get the results of the further tests at the age of 30 months. They also tend to be less likely to be hospitalized again because of a respiratory infection.
The emotional bond between mother and baby during breastfeeding are thought to contribute to improve the intelligence of the brain. But fatty acids in breast milk was the one who allegedly played a most important role.
Preventing obesity in children
Breastfeeding is considered as one of the right way to reduce the risk of obesity when children adolescents and adults. Revealed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the strongest effect was obtained of children who were exclusively breastfed. The longer a baby is breastfed, the more powerful the effect.
The experts conducted an analysis of 17 studies published in the “American Journal of Epidemiology” and concluded several reasons behind this connection. First, breastfed babies have a healthier diet because of their insatiable hunger as a child.
Second, the milk has a lower insulin that can stimulate the formation of fat than formula. Breast milk also contains more leptin, a hormone that is believed to regulate appetite and fat. Weight infants with formula milk tends to increase more in the first week after birth compared to infants fed breast milk.
Lowering the risk of sudden infant death syndrome
syndrome sudden infant death (English: SIDS ) is one of the most feared by parents. Various studies conducted to investigate the syndrome that primarily affects infants under 1 year of age. Although not known for certain causes, central America for Disease Control and Prevention recommends breastfeeding to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Large-scale study in Germany in 2009 and then also suggest the same. Experts say that breastfeeding, whether exclusive or not, associated with a lower incidence of SIDS. They concluded that exclusive breastfeeding at 1 month of age can reduce the risk of SIDS in half. While the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences said the risk of death in breast-fed infants aged 28 days – 1 year 20% lower than those who did not.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mother
Lowering the risk of stress and postpartum depression Mothers
From studies conducted on 9 thousand more abstract, NIEHS concluded that women who did not breastfeed or stopping breastfeeding early have a higher risk to suffer from postpartum depression. Because, breastfeeding can stimulate the release of prolactin and oxytocin plays a role in relaxation.
Lactating women had higher levels of oxytocin at 50%, while women who formula feed only has 8%. Their blood pressure was lower when they were invited to talk about personal problems that make them depressed. Oxytocin also helps release the milk and contraction of the uterus so that the risk of postpartum hemorrhage is lower.
Reduce cancer risk
Research shows if breastfeeding for 4 to 12 months could be expected to reduce the risk of breast cancer by 11%. This number increased to 25% among women who breastfeed for 24 months. Sure unknown factor behind this protection, but allegedly because of structural changes in breast tissue during feeding and suppression of estrogen produced in the body by lactation. Emphasis is also expected to estrogen is associated with decreased risk of ovarian cancer.
The baby girl was fed formula have a greater risk of breast cancer when they are adults. The numbers are even closed to within 25% of breast-fed babies is good for premenopausal breast cancer and post menopause.
Burn more calories
Breastfeeding helps mothers lose weight more quickly after giving birth. It is estimated that there are 500 extra calories burned each day while you are breastfeeding. Breastfeeding mothers either exclusive or non-impaired hip circumference and weight significantly 1 month after delivery than women who only give formula.
And you need not worry about breastfeeding will make sagging breasts. Because many plastic surgeons agree that age, gravity, genetics, weight, and style of life that is more influential than breastfeeding.
Exclusive breastfeeding can be a natural contraceptive method other than the calendar system. But the mother must actively breast-feeding for at least 1 hour a day for 6 months and did not give any additional food. If each lactation period lasts for 10 minutes, then the mother should breast feed as much as six times a day. When breastfeeding mothers often, your body will produce more of the hormone prolactin. Hormones to suppress ovulation so as to delay the fertile period.