Breastfeeding - what the experts say
Deciding to breastfeed
For thousands of years, breastfeeding has been the only way for women to feed their babies; the question of whether to breastfeed or not never came up. Today, mothers have a choice when their baby is born. For most of them, breastfeeding is a completely natural thing to do after pregnancy. In fact, around 70% of babies born in France are breastfed after leaving the hospital. This figure represents a significant increase. In 1992, slightly fewer than half of babies were breastfed after going home.But it still remains low compared to other countries, especially northern European nations. In Norway, for example, 98% of mothers nurse their babies during their first weeks of life.
Breast milk, a human infant’s natural food, provides incomparable nutrition that perfectly meets your baby’s needs and adapts to these needs as they grow. In addition to nourishing the infant, breastfeeding is also a new physical experience for the mother that creates a creates a unique emotional and skin-to-skin bond with the baby. Nursing has many benefits both for you and your baby:
- For your baby
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of infections because human milk is naturally rich in protective properties and boosts your baby’s immune system.
- According to various studies, it also plays a role in preventing allergies, especially those related to food.
- It reduces the risk of obesity.
- For you
- It helps your uterus return to its normal size more quickly after childbirth.
- It improves your health: according to a number of studies, nursing lowers the risk of developing osteoporosis and breast, ovarian or uterine cancer.
- It helps you develop a deep emotional bond with your baby and creates a sense of well-being due to the release of certain hormones during feeds.
- It makes your life easier and saves you money: no bottles to prepare and no formula to buy!
- With few exceptions, all women can breastfeed their babies. A lack of information, however, can lead to failure. If you want to nurse your baby, get as much information as possible during your pregnancy. There are many books on the subject and you can also talk about it with your midwife, doctor or lactation consultant.