National Breastfeeding Promotion Day | Nine Essential Facts about Breastfeeding(Ⅰ) | Updated: 2024-05-20
I. Breastfeeding: The First Healthy Lifestyle Choice in Life
Breastfeeding stands as the optimal method for infant feeding during early life, providing infants with safe, balanced nutrition, comprehensive immunity, and other bioactive substances.
Maintaining exclusive breastfeeding for the initial 6 months eliminates the necessity for additional water or other beverages. When deemed necessary, nutritional supplements may be introduced under medical supervision.
Introducing complementary foods to infants at 6 months while continuing breastfeeding until age 2 or beyond ensures infants receive sustained nutrition and immune protection, playing a crucial role in promoting children's physical and mental well-being and early development.

II. Breast Milk: The Premier Source of Nutrition for Infants and Young Children

The composition, content, structure, and functionality of breast milk align with the needs of infant growth and development, fully meeting all requirements for survival, growth, and health within the first 6 months after birth. Breast milk facilitates the growth and functional development of infant tissues and organs, aiding in establishing life rhythms and providing benefits unmatched by any other food.
III. Breastfeeding: Safeguarding Maternal and Infant Health Together

Breastfeeding represents a natural choice and a critical stage in healthy reproduction.
Through breastfeeding, mothers can reduce postpartum bleeding, reset metabolic processes, facilitate rapid postpartum recovery, and prepare for subsequent pregnancies. Breastfeeding also reduces the long-term risks of breast and ovarian cancers in mothers.
It provides both short-term and long-term protection for infants, reducing the risks of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, obesity, and chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Breastfeeding is particularly vital for children with illnesses, low birth weight, or premature birth, serving as the safest, most effective, and cost-efficient adjunctive therapy.
IV. Fostering a Mutual Health Bond through Effective Feeding Practices
Mothers should aim to spend ample time with their infants, engaging in frequent skin-to-skin contact and personally breastfeeding. These nurturing feeding behaviors offer opportunities for parent-infant eye contact, verbal and physical interaction, facilitating the development of the infant's physical and mental well-being. Moreover, they foster emotional attachment and secure bonding, while also positively impacting maternal lactation and sustaining breastfeeding.

V. Early Postpartum Contact and Regular Nursing: Crucial Strategies for Successful Breastfeeding
Immediate and continuous skin-to-skin contact with the mother and initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour after birth are imperative.
The colostrum, or first milk, produced by the mother serves as the newborn's initial dose of a multi-valent vaccine. Early suckling at the maternal breast aids in the acquisition of substantial immunologically active substances, establishing a healthy intestinal microbiome, and stimulating maternal milk production.