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What does Breastfeeding mean?

Baby Care By Joy Wanja
Photo; Courtesy

B Best for Mum and Baby

ALSO READ: Men have a critical role to play in breastfeeding during COVID-19 pandemic

Breastfeeding is loaded with benefits for both the nursing mother and infant.

Longer periods of breastfeeding are linked to a reduction in overweight and obesity in the child and

can also lead to an increase in IQ of three to four points.

For the mothers, the benefits of breastfeeding include a reduction in breast cancer deaths,

improvement in the spacing between children and a reduction in the risk of diabetes.

It could also improve birth spacing.

R Readily Available

ALSO READ: Mac Otani’s heartbreaking breastfeeding challenge with ailing wife

Breastmilk is readily available and safe because breast milk is considered safe drinking water for the


Breastfeeding is cheap, the family saves resources that could have been used to buy other milks. A

breastfed baby is less ill thus preventing the losses in time and resources for taking them for

treatment. A well fed baby will grow to be productive to the family and the nation.

E Expressing and storage of breast milk

It refers to milk squeezing milk out of the breast either by hand or a breast pump for storage to be

ALSO READ: Breastfeeding 101: What is cluster feeding?

fed to the infant a later time.

Unless expressing milk is accepted culturally, mothers will continue to do mixed feeding whenever

they have to be separated from the baby for any reason

A Advocates and breast feeding

Cultures are a critical component in the acceptance of exclusive breastfeeding. Kenyans have not

embraced the culture of mothers expressing milk and keeping it for the baby to feed when the

mother is away.

In some communities, children are given water and other traditional medicines to keep the baby

calm. These practices interfere with breastfeeding.

S Sustainable Development Goals and breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is key for sustainable development and guarantees that if exclusively done for the first

six months is the key to nutrition and food security; health, development and survival for the infant

and thereby achieving full educational potential

Breastfeeding is an environmentally sustainable method of feeding compared to the alternatives.

T The Gender Question

Breastfeeding mothers feel more empowered because they play a big role in bringing up healthy

children. They create an environment for babies to feel loved and secure and they practice the same

when they grow older.

F First hour of life and breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is encouraged in the first hour of birth because the first milk that a mother produces

after birth, colostrum is rich in nutrients that protect the baby from illness.

E Employers Friends and family

Employers are urged to review of workplace policies regarding flex time, including short breaks to

express breast milk to support women who are exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months

after delivery.

Advocacy for breastfeeding begins with the supportive network available from the family setting

including fathers and grandmothers about breastfeeding

E Education and breastfeeding

Breastfed babies have a higher IQ and they perform well in school.

D Dangerous practices and breastfeeding

In some communities, children are given water and other traditional medicines to keep the baby

calm. These practices interfere with breastfeeding.

I Infectious diseases and breastfeeding

Breastfeeding reduces the risk of infection for children below two years. Antibodies are passed on

through mother's milk to fight prevailing infections.

N Nutritional benefits

Breastmilk is nutritious food to the baby, it prevents hunger and malnutrition. Even when there is

food insecurity in the family babies can survive on breastmilk.

G Go for Gold!

Support mums to breastfeed anytime, anywhere.

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