Breast feeding is one of the best and important things mothers can do for their babies.
Currently, however, there is a decline in the breast-feeding trend amongst local women.
Keitumetse Mpete, a dietician, says some of the reasons for the decline in breast feeding are that many women feel that they cannot breastfeed, given their hectic lifestyles and careers, i.e. school going or working mothers.
Another reason advanced is that some women want to maintain their original body structure.
Mpete says there are advantages to breast feeding for both mother and the baby because breast milk contains anti infective properties therefore breast fed babies have less incidences of symptoms of allergies, ear infections, etc. Breast milk promotes healthy gut and so prevents constipation and it has all the nutrients in balanced quantities that the baby needs for growth.
B breastfed babies have less incidences of obesity at a later stage of life and for the mother it creates a strong bond between mother and baby yet it is readily available and cheap.
Exclusive breast feeding (giving breast milk only, no water or any fluids) helps burn some calories this helps in those who want to lose weight.
Breast feeding is good for babies and it is recommended that the baby should be breastfed for the first six months and then solids are introduced but breastfeeding continues until the child is two years of age.
This, however, applies to those who do not have any medical problems otherwise it is important to contact a health professional before taking any decision with regards to feeding babies.
Some women may experience sore nipples or the breasts might swell when breast feeding for the first time; all this must be watched carefully and expert advice must be sought.
The shape or appearance can be expected to change, nipples might become larger or change in colour and the breasts might sag but this doesn’t happen to all women.
Other women might find it difficult to breastfed in public but some of these issues usually disappear as time goes on.
It is, however, an experience like no other to look down and see the little baby suckling and know that you are giving life to such a delicate little life…possibly a future president or better.
But the modern woman has a problem because she is engaged in various pursuits like school, work or business. Since breast feeding demands time and attention, they regrettably opt for formula feeding and that is a subject for another day.