Ev­ery ounce counts

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Women’s World -

IF you are a mother, you may have heard that breast milk is one of the best sources of nu­tri­tion for your baby.

It of­fers your child a healthy start with ben­e­fits that will last right into adult­hood.

Breast milk is nu­tri­tion­ally bal­anced, pro­vid­ing all nu­tri­ents your in­fant re­quires for the first six months in the right pro­por­tions.

What’s more, it is eas­ily di­gested and ab­sorbed into your in­fant’s body.

World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) rec­om­mends moth­ers to ex­clu­sively breast­feed in­fants for the child’s first six months of life.

Here are some of the key ben­e­fits breast­feed­ing of­fers both mother and baby:

For moth­ers

– En­hances post-par­tum weight loss and helps burn ex­tra calo­ries

– Re­duces post-par­tum bleed­ing, help­ing the uterus re­turn to its pre­vi­ous size

– Low­ers the risk of di­a­betes, heart dis­eases, high blood pres­sure and post-par­tum de­pres­sion

– De­creases the risk of breast can­cer and ovar­ian can­cer

For ba­bies

– Pro­vides ideal nu­tri­ents for op­ti­mal growth and de­vel­op­ment

– Less likely to suf­fer from con­sti­pa­tion and stom­ach up­set

– Pro­vides an­ti­bod­ies that can pro­tect against al­ler­gies, di­ar­rhoea, ear in­fec­tions and res­pi­ra­tory tract in­fec­tions

– Low­ers the risk of sud­den in­fant death syn­drome

While breast­feed­ing comes nat­u­rally to women, not all moth­ers have the ca­pac­ity to pro­duce suf­fi­cient milk for their ba­bies.

This may be due to nu­tri­tional de­fi­cien­cies, con­sump­tion of birth con­trol pills, hor­monal changes, im­proper latch­ing po­si­tion of the baby and in­fre­quent breast­feed­ing.

For first-time nurs­ing moth­ers who strug­gle with a low milk sup­ply, do not give up just yet. Breast­feed­ing is a sup­ply and de­mand process – the more you breast­feed, the more milk you pro­duce.

Con­sider tak­ing herbal reme­dies to nat­u­rally boost your milk sup­ply. Fenu­greek seed is one of the most po­tent galac­t­a­gogues for in­creas­ing milk pro­duc­tion. It works by stim­u­lat­ing milk ducts of the mam­mary glands. It also fa­cil­i­tates in­fant birth weight re­gain in early post­na­tal days.

Other note­wor­thy herbs in­clude red rasp­berry leaf, blessed this­tle seed and fen­nel.

In ad­di­tion to their lac­ta­tion-boost­ing ben­e­fits, red rasp­berry leaf helps re­duce uter­ine swelling and strengthen the uterus fol­low­ing de­liv­ery, as­sist­ing in post-par­tum re­cov­ery.

Blessed this­tle seed en­hances ap­petite and re­lieves in­di­ges­tion in nurs­ing moth­ers while fen­nel aids in di­ges­tion and re­lieves symp­toms of colic in ba­bies.

In ad­di­tion to its nu­tri­tional ben­e­fits, the phys­i­cal close­ness pro­vides a bond to cul­ti­vate some of the most in­ti­mate mo­ments be­tween you and your lit­tle one.

This ar­ti­cle is brought to you by Vi­taHealth. For en­quiries, call 1800 183 288.

In ad­di­tion to the nu­tri­tional ben­e­fits of breast­feed­ing, the phys­i­cal close­ness cul­ti­vates some of the most in­ti­mate mo­ments be­tween a mother and her lit­tle one.

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