The concept of strength and health is really simple, like a tree it starts from the roots. I am not sure who said. “You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation” but sure did me a favor, as this explains well what we are about to discuss.
To be a healthy adult, you need to have the right beginning, you start with the kid. How to feed a baby i.e. breastfeed or formula bottle is a question that arises often? To answer that, Breastfeeding is the better option among the two, for some obvious and simple reasons like:
- Breast milk or mother’s milk has antibodies that aid in the better protection of the kid from various virus and bacteria. Also the same cannot be replicated in the formula feed
- Mother’s milk is easily digestible by babies than formula, which results in lesser instances of gas or constipation in them
- Another reason, the antibodies transferred while breastfeeding reduces the risk of ear infections, respiratory illnesses like asthma if exclusively fed breast milk for the first 6 months
- A study revealed that risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in the first year is reduced when babies are breastfed
- Amazingly the breast milk changes and adapts to your baby’s growing needs, whereas formula remains stationary in its composition
- It’s good for the mommy too, it helps burn calories, and more importantly helps contract the uterus and assists bringing it back to normal size
- Of course, its pocket-friendly, as it’s freely and readily available from the mother.
- Breastfeeding supports healthy growth and reduces the chances of obesity
- Studies reveal that breastfeeding increases Oxytocin in mothers which lowers the chances of postpartum depression
- The list doesn’t end, breastfeeding is also associated with reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer in ladies in the longer run
I am flooded with the merits of mother’s milk, which is why even associations like the American Academy of Paediatrics and World Health Organization support and promote breastfeeding as the chosen method for feeding children.
On that note, from 1st Aug till 7th Aug we have an annual celebration of World Breastfeeding Week. This initiative began in 1992 and coordinated by WABA (World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action). It is now observed in about 120 countries, where the teams work tirelessly to promote the breastfeeding practice at least for 6 months and possibly to be continued till age 2 and spread awareness about its benefits. They also work to make this practice more feasible and bring in the necessary supports for nursing mothers. They want the environment around them to be conducive to promote the practice everywhere.
Since the Sustainable Development Goals were introduced to make the world a better place, economically, environmentally and socially, WABA has attached breastfeeding to those goals as well. Rightly so they believe that this practice can aid many SDG’s like helping to remove poverty, better health, Gender equality, Less Stress on Natural Resources, Climatically better and many others.
It reminds me of the famous Hindi movies dialogue, “Agar Maa ka dudh piya hai to muqabla kar”, which translates as if you had mother’s milk, implying if you are really strong, then compete. It’s funny, how it makes sense, not for fighting villains, but for us the heroes & heroines of the world to triumph.