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The Importance of Breastfeeding Exclusively for Newborns

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Only a few things are better than the idea of a mother breastfeeding exclusively as this remains one of the most profound ways through which nursing mothers provide their infant with the perfect nourishment, love and security.
Whenever the subject of breastfeeding is brought to fore, it may be easy to be tempted to think that all the process entails is “feeding the baby through the breast.” But there is absolutely more that goes on during the period of breastfeeding that is just beyond providing an infant with food.

breastfeeding exclusively

The female human breast milk is the fountain from which the overall development of a child springs. This ‘superfood’ is often considered the most important source of early sustenance for the child at infancy, especially because the breast milk contains proteins, fats, water, micro-nutrients and trace elements.

Most of these nutrients enhance human growth and epidermal growth factors which consequently impact on the child’s physical, psychological and cognitive development.

Being a best practice, breastfeeding benefits both the mother and the baby as some of its interests are fundamentally on the fact that it is naturally adapted to the infants physiologic needs at minimal or no cost to mother and society.

The breast milk also contains antibodies that help to protect the infant against bacteria and viruses, lowering the baby’s susceptibility to allergies, the diarrhea illness and respiratory infections.
Since infancy is a period of rapid physical, physiological and mental development, the deficiency of these essential nutrients has dire consequences.

The various forms of breastfeeding options include;

  • Exclusive breast feeding
  • Predominant breast feeding
  • Replacement feeding
  • Mixed feeding
  • Supplementary feeding
  • Complementary feeding

Among these options, the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six (6) months of life. It also benefits the baby if the breastfeeding continues for at least the second year of life and/or even longer.
Indeed, breastfeeding exclusively may be one of the most challenging feeding options for the baby, but its overarching advantages makes the ‘pain’ worth the hassle.

breastfeeding exclusively
Photo credit: Pexels

For mothers who adhere to the WHO recommendation, the lasting gains of exclusive breastfeeding encompass an increased Intelligent quotient (IQ) as well as better mental and physical fitness later in the child’s adolescence. Therefore, it could be safe to say that mothers can help their children achieve their optimal development and full potential by being very intentional about breastfeeding.

The place of proper breastfeeding cannot be overemphasized as it ensures optimal growth, protection and development of the child for at least the first five years of life.

Top 3 Tips on Losing Weight While Breastfeeding Exclusively.

Losing weight after pregnancy requires extra caution and planning. The following are some of the ways to shed weight while breastfeeding exclusively:

1) Do not skip meals:

Most people who try to lose a couple of pounds are usually tempted to cut down on food intake. As a new mother, this is a no-no! Intermittent fasting may actually reduce your weight as fast as possible but it is not only unsustainable but also unhealthy to you and your newborn. Starving will sure make you weak as well as reduce the production of breast milk. What you can do is to eat healthy foods in small portions otherwise known as Portion Control.

2) Drink lots of water:

You can never go wrong with staying hydrated when trying to lose weight while breastfeeding. When you drink water, you get filled and become less hungry. Water intake also helps expel toxins from the body and aid the digestion process. Apart from drinking water, you can also drink other healthy fluids like weight loss smoothies and natural home-made fruit juices.

breastfeeding exclusively
Credit: Canva

3) Breastfeed as much as possible:

Frequent breastfeeding aids weight loss in no small measure. The body makes use of stored energy in fats to produce more breast milk. Hence, frequent breastfeeding will help the new mother burn a good amount of calories.

As we celebrate the World Breastfeeding Week (August 1st – 7th), let’s all join hands, in the spirit of the Innocenti Declaration to encourage, promote and “support breastfeeding exclusively for a healthier planet.

Here’s to Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies!


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Faith reply
August 12, 2020 - 10:51 am

This is very educative. Kudos!

Flourish reply
August 12, 2020 - 10:56 am

This is a nice read. Honestly before now I always tell me myself that I’ll stop breastfeeding when my child is 3 or 4 months old, latest . But i have a different option now

    Ginika Oluchi Okeke reply
    August 12, 2020 - 10:59 am

    Glad that you know better now.

Clergy reply
August 12, 2020 - 11:41 am


August 12, 2020 - 11:42 am

Keep it up Ginika 👍🏼

Nneamaka Okeke reply
August 12, 2020 - 12:01 pm

Wonderful information. I enjoyed this write up.

August 12, 2020 - 12:49 pm

From the above analysis, it has proven that exclusive breastfeeding is very important in raising a child. I hereby strongly encourage women to adhere to world health advice. T

Florence Agha reply
August 12, 2020 - 3:23 pm

Aptly written.
Thursday up guys.

Florence Agha reply
August 12, 2020 - 3:24 pm

Aptly written.
Thumb up guys.

Freeman Korkara Kobo reply
August 12, 2020 - 3:57 pm

“Looking at a King’s mouth, you’ll think he never sucked at his mother’s breast” (Achebe ). O yes, all men actually sucked their mother’s breast. At least this article has nudged our wanton minds and redirected them to the fact that breastfeeding is not only to be seen as a ritual of feeding the newborn but also a gainful activity that involves proper timing and forbearance. Very didactic essay.

Gladys reply
August 12, 2020 - 4:12 pm

Nice read👍🏽👍🏽

Labake reply
August 12, 2020 - 4:51 pm

Well said 👏🏼 👌💯

Anna reply
August 12, 2020 - 7:27 pm

Yes,Breastfeeding is very vital for child’s growth and prevent the child from diseases also it helps in the mother side because during breastfeeding she is releasing out fats from her system and also prevent her from breast cancer .

UGO 1 reply
August 13, 2020 - 6:03 am

Very interesting, I never knew breast milk has lots of benefits like this to the baby.
Good one

Joftfem reply
August 13, 2020 - 7:25 am


Akoja Faith reply
August 14, 2020 - 10:19 am

Exclusive breast feeding is very vital to the overall development of an infant. This is a fact that I won’t easily forget. Wonderful write up.

Chiamaka ogodinma reply
August 14, 2020 - 12:39 pm

I never knew much about breastfeeding as I’m not a mother yet but like they say “information is power”. This information will indeed be useful in the nearby future.

Bishop (Engr.) reply
August 14, 2020 - 2:36 pm

Let the fire kindle…keep feeding the flame.

Barr Anoh. reply
August 16, 2020 - 8:52 pm

Very wonderful and educative. May continue to enrich you.

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Avatar of Dr. Gbenga Ogunfowokan

Dr. Gbenga is a Chief Family Medicine Consultant at National Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria. He is enthusiastic about contemporary health technology and passionate about creative innovations especially the ones that promote healthcare in Africa.

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