What is Breastfeeding?
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What Does Breastfeeding Mean
The Breastfeeding is a type of power is that a baby is fed with milk from his mother. Milk, precisely, is a food with unique characteristics that allows the mother to transmit her defense mechanisms to the newborn, while the act of breastfeeding strengthens the mother-child relationship.
Specifically, we can determine that there are two clear types of breastfeeding. Thus, on the one hand, there is exclusive breastfeeding, which is one in which the infant only feeds on the milk expressed from his mother, except for syrups or drops that he has to take for medical reasons.
On the other hand, we find the so-called predominant breastfeeding. In this specific case, the main food that the baby eats is that of the aforementioned milk that comes from his nurse or from his mother. However, he also takes syrups, vitamins or various types of liquids such as juices, water or even herbal teas.
The World Health Organization (WHO) considers that breastfeeding should be the exclusive diet of a child in the first 6 months of life since, due to its properties, it is essential for healthy development. Once this stage is over, breastfeeding should be maintained, together with the introduction of complementary feeding progressively.
The WHO adds that breastfeeding should continue until at least 2 years of life. Even if the mother and the child decide, it could continue without a time limit . Cases have been recorded where breastfeeding was maintained up to nine years of age.
Several studies have shown, from one year on, that breast milk becomes richer in fat and other nutrients , which allows children to supplement an increasingly diversified diet from that age on.
There are many benefits that breastfeeding brings to the baby, hence, with few exceptions, it is strongly committed that the mother feeds the baby that way. In this sense, among the main advantages are that said milk is rich in iron, has the ideal composition for the baby, the little one who is fed with it suffers less constipation and can also digest it very well.
And all this without forgetting that, in addition, with the intake of said maternal milk, the baby is protected from issues such as sudden death, from infections of various kinds since it is rich in defenses called immunoglobulins and from future diseases. Among the latter, diabetes, asthma, obesity, allergy or arteriosclerosis should be highlighted.
Likewise, among the benefits provided by this type of breastfeeding are those that are in favor of the mother, such as the fact that it protects her from osteoporosis or that the bond with her child is strengthened.
The herpes simplex in the nipple, AIDS and galactosemia in the infant are one of the few reasons why doctors recommend stopping breastfeeding, it even supports numerous medications and interventions.
On the other hand, breastfeeding can be continued even during a new pregnancy, without any risk to the fetus. If the mother wishes, she can breastfeed her two children of different ages simultaneously. This situation is known as tandem breastfeeding .