Being a mother started me on a path to maternal, infant and young child nutrition advocacy. Here are some of the things I have learned and help spread information and support for:
1. A mother's health and diet before she gets pregnant and during pregnancy affects the quality of pregnancy, the birth, the development of the baby and his short and long-term health. There is now a growing study on the role of maternal health to epigenetics (how DNA will be expressed in the baby).
2. Humans, as mammals, produce breast milk that is highly biodigestible, with the composition adjusting to baby's age and needs as baby grows.
3. Breastmilk is a LIVE product, containing good bacteria and antibodies, that comes in food form.
4. Breastfeeding is the single most effective way to prevent infant death. (WHO)
5. Barring complications, illness and special conditions, babies should only be given breast milk for the first six months of life. That means no solids, water, and vitamins.
6. Complementary feeding should be started at six months and through offering only whole, natural food. Grains will provide the extra carbohydrates a baby will need at this age while fruits and vegetables will provide the additional vitamins and minerals required.
7. With all others being equal, exclusively breastfed babies are healthier babies and grow up to be healthier adults compared to formula-fed counterparts.
8. Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from diarrhea (the top reason for infant and young child death), ear infection, respiratory and digestive issues as well as allergies.
9. Breastfed babies get reduced risks for diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, kidney disease, osteoporosis and if they're female, breast/uterine/ovarian cancer when they grow up. Formula-fed babies have an increased risk for those.
10. Fast, junk, processed food are usually high in salt, sugar and fats. Formula milk and commercial baby food are both processed foods which are also exposed to contaminants and additives that compromise the organs of a growing child.
11. Cow's milk has long been established as the top slow-allergenic food, regular consumption of which aggravates the condition of those with allergic histories and genes.
12. The culture of bottlefeeding formula up to toddlerhood has resulted in generations of picky eaters, which also means, malnourished kids.
The first 1,000 days of a child's life begins prior to conception up to age 2. This is the most critical time wherein the proper diet plays a major role in the health outcomes of a person when he grows old. It is very important that mothers are taught and supported to breastfeed exclusively and only offer good food to their children to reduce incidences of illness and deaths. Ucenter Dress baby flower girl outfits for wedding
- Maureen C. Arevalo
LATCH and Arugaan-Trained Peer Counselor, Breastfeeding Pinays admin, homeschooling mom of 3 boys
Just sharing something I "wrote" that a gradeschooler posted on their bulletin board for Nutrition Month, because I'm deleting it from my phone already.
I realize this is incomplete because I didn't say anything about how breastfeeding benefits mothers as well. Being the biological norm, mothers lose out on the benefits of breastfeeding to their long-term health when they do not breastfeed... Basically awakening, aggravating, increasing risks for lifestyle/chronic diseases that are the top killers for women.
So, again Mommies... While a mother's love is not measured by how she fed her baby, know that breastfeeding is a mother's love in action felt for ages. With compounding benefits for each generation.
*copied and paste from Breastfeeding Pinays group