All for Life

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Benefits of Breastfeeding

As part of Breastfeeding Week, from 1st to 7th August, our Paediatrician, Dr Faeza Soobadar, explains the benefits of breastfeeding and what should be put in place to help working mothers who breastfeed.

What is your assessment of the situation in Mauritius?

Promoting breastfeeding is not only to explain to the mother the benefits of breast milk, it is also necessary to put in place appropriate supervision. It’s a fact that it’s impossible for the majority of moms to continue breastfeeding with one hour of authorization a day.

Big companies need to set up nurseries on the spot because it is of prime importance. What will promote breastfeeding is to provide facilities for mothers who want to breastfeed. At their place of work, there must be a nursery to look after babies at least until the age of one.

Kindly remind us the benefits of breastfeeding for the baby and mom?

Breast milk contains antibodies, which protect the baby against many infections such as gastroenteritis, respiratory infections and ear infections, among others. In the long term, breastfeeding protects the baby against so-called atopic diseases such as eczema and asthma. We are talking about exclusive breastfeeding for six months.

This protection is maintained for a long time, even after stopping breastfeeding. A breast-fed baby will also be protected against obesity in adulthood and type 2 diabetes. Breastfed babies are smarter. If there is a mixed feeding, including milk powder and breastfeeding, it will still be better for babies to give them milk powder only. After six months, a mother can continue to breastfeed her baby, but you must also feed her.

For the mother, if she starts breastfeeding in the first days, it reduces the risk of complications such as hemorrhage. Breastfeeding allows the mother to lose weight after giving birth. She can lose about 500 calories a day. In the long run, one gains in terms of a reduction in ovarian and breast cancers. Breast milk is something natural. Today, we want to eat organic and there, we have organic milk, which does not require sterilization of bottles, and preparation. And finally, breastfeeding creates a bond of affection between the mother and the baby.

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