This week is World Breastfeeding Week, an annual event highlighting the critical importance of breastfeeding for children across the globe. According to UNICEF, breastfeeding gives kids the healthiest start in life and is one of the simplest, smartest and most cost-effective ways there is to ensure that a baby stays healthy.
But breastfeeding can be downright hard work. From breast pumping to weaning, you may not know where to begin. It’s important to remember, however, that there is no adequate substitute for breastfeeding because a mother’s milk is designed to provide the exact nutrition a baby needs, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA.) Breast milk also contains antibodies that help a baby fight off viruses and bacteria. The APA recommends breastfeeding infants exclusively for the first 6 months after birth.
While you may already know some health benefits of breastfeeding, some of them may surprise you. So if you’re thinking of having a child or are already expecting, read on to learn more.