HOW DOES BREASTFEEDING HELP THE BABY?
Many mothers choose to breastfeed their children. The amount of time they do this for varies a lot throughout the world. Breast milk is really good for babies as it is designed especially for them. It has a perfect mix of everything your baby needs to eat to be healthy. This includes vitamins, protein and fat. When you are an adult you have a good immune system. When a woman breastfeeds her baby some of this is given to them. This means they are better at fighting of diseases. Breastfeeding means babies get fewer infections and bouts of diarrhoea. This means they are more likely to survive their first year.
HOW DOES BREASTFEEDING HELP THE MOTHER?
When a woman has a baby, she usually can’t get pregnant again for at least 2 months. If the woman breastfeeds this increases to 6 months or even longer. Some things, such as breastfeeding, make this time longer. Breastfeeding often, about every 4 hours every day, is one of the ways of prolonging the infertility. This works best when the baby is younger and when the mother isn’t having periods. It is worth noting that this isn’t a fully effective form of contraception. If you decide you do want to prevent a birth of another child, it is worth considering a more effective method such as condoms.
This period of infertility is helpful for a mother as being pregnant and nursing a child uses lots of energy. This means that she isn’t doing both at the same time so has enough nutrients to fully support her baby. It would be hard to have one baby whilst still caring for another directly. That means that the rate of infant mortality (chance of a baby dying before they are 1) goes down when there is a bigger gap between births.
This method of natural birth control means a woman’s body has develop to have healthy children. Pregnancy is really hard work for a mother’s body. You only want to go through pregnancy if you are likely to have a healthy child. Babies who are born with bigger gaps between them have a higher chance of being healthy.