World Breastfeeding Week is around the corner and presents a very important topic for discussion, one involved with the health of both infants and mothers. The advent of formula milk and other sources has brought with it some amount of misinformation about the issue, leading to poor health and some taboos that need dismantling. Mothers are given all sorts of advice and cautions, and therefore there is a need to clarify that breastfeeding is the most natural and the easiest way to secure a healthy future for their child.
A few points to consider lie in the usefulness of breast milk itself. For instance, breast milk contains certain proteins, vitamins, and fats that are essential for the development of the baby, and milk formulas cannot substitute these ingredients in adequate proportions. Besides, colostrum, which is produced during late pregnancy, contains antibodies that are crucial for the immunity of the child. An infant that has been exclusively breastfed for the first six months is able to develop life-saving immunity that protects them from pathogens and promotes better health. The mother also benefits from the act of breastfeeding as it reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, postpartum depression, and type II diabetes.
World Breastfeeding Week is observed in order to spread awareness about the same, to encourage exclusive breastfeeding, and to garner support in favor of it. Various taboos surrounding the topic, especially public breastfeeding, plague the world. Organizations such as WHO and UNICEF work towards goals such as encouraging governments in various countries to invest in maternity facilities and improving infrastructure in favor of breastfeeding. Sensitizing people around the world in this regard is necessary because of the taboo and ignorance surrounding the topic which may deny children of a better future.
Mothers can also consider investing in certain products that make the entire process much easier for them, such as breast pumps that can mechanically extract and store milk, breast milk bottles, and storage bags. Supplemental nursing systems, colostrum containers, membranes, and special needs feeders, along with breast care products that can help soothe soreness and postpartum skin changes are available. Products such as contact nipple shields, disposable nursing pads, hydrogel pads, and washable nursing pads can be purchased.
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