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Breast milk cures asthma and diarrhoea

Aug 03, 2017

Breastfeeding as an experience is rewarding as mothers can help in shaping a wonderful future for their baby.

New Delhi: It’s the that time of the year when we celebrate the World Breastfeeding Week. A week especially marked to help and encourage mothers breastfeed and contribute their bit in reducing India’s infant mortality rate.

While it is advised for new lactating mothers to start breastfeeding for the initial six months, they should aware of the benefits of mother’s milk. There is an association between breastfeeding up to 6 months of age and survival of infants throughout the first year of life. The younger the infant and the longer the breastfeeding, the greater the estimated benefits in terms of death are prevented. Therefore, one of the perfect ways to start your baby’s growth is to breastfeed him.

Breast milk is full of riches and has no substitute. Exclusive breast feeding is ideal nutrition and sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life. According to WHO, a new born must be ideally breastfed for more than a period of six months for its healthy growth and a more strengthened immune system.

Breastfeeding as an experience is rewarding as mothers can help in shaping a wonderful future for their baby. By initiating the first hour breastfeeding, a mother feeds the baby with colostrum- an antidote to all child health problems. This yellowish - orange colour liquid has numerous benefits which safeguards the baby‘s immune system.

One of the major child killers are Diarrhoea and Asthma nationwide. Both these diseases are the leading cause of death among infants in developing countries. According to a study at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam in The Netherlands, the researchers said that babies fed only on breast milk up to the age of six months have a lower risk of developing asthma-related symptoms in early childhood. Out of 5,000 children that were examined, the research showed that children which never breastfed had an increased risk of shortness of breath, dry cough, and persistent phlegm during their first four years, compared to children breastfed for more than six months. The strongest associations were with persistent phlegm (children who were never breastfed had 1.5 times higher risk of this symptom), and wheezing (1.4 times higher risk if never breastfed).

Infants under two months of age who are not breastfed are 25 times more likely to die of diarrhoea than infants exclusively breastfed. Continued breastfeeding during diarrhoea reduces dehydration, severity, duration, and negative nutritional consequences of diarrhoea.

This study also mentions that babies who formula fed with other substitutes during their first four months also had an increased risk of symptoms compared to children only breastfed.

An exclusively breastfed child is 14 times less likely to die in the first six months than a non-breastfed child, and breastfeeding has been shown to drastically reduce deaths from acute respiratory infection and Diarrhoeal problems – major child killers.

Diarrhoeal disease is three to four times more likely to occur in infants fed formula than those fed breast milk. Children less than 12 months of age had a lower incidence of acute diarrhoeal disease during the months they were being breastfed than children that were fed with formula during the same period.

Therefore, Breastfeeding is the simplest and the cheapest intervention to prevent child deaths occurring from respiratory and digestive problems.

Breast milk acts as a passage for transfer of the antibodies and fighter cells from the mother to the infant. It gives protection against all types of infections and allergies. Mother's milk is the complete baby food. If a child is deprived of breastfeeding, there is a greater probability of him being infected by problems like ear infections, diarrhoea, respiratory problems, eczema, chest infections, obesity, gastrointestinal infections, and childhood diabetes.

Human milk is like tailor-made for human babies. Breastmilk is pure gold whose contents fluctuates during the day and over the months ensuring it always befits the baby’s growth in right way. Hence, new age mothers should analyse their necessary intervention in shaping their child’s growth and development.

Therefore, to prevent ones baby from all chronic diseases like Asthma, make breastfeeding as the only dietary intake for a child for the first six months. This human milk is unparalleled and irreplaceable in its value and virtue.

Authored by Victoria Kumar Soraine, Lactation Expert and IYCF Certfied.

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