Breastfeeding is by far the best thing a mother can do to her new born baby. It is recommended by the World Health Organization that one breastfeeds their baby exclusively for the first six months after birth. By exclusive breastfeeding we mean feeding the baby breastmilk and nothing else. But we must acknowledge that exclusive breastfeeding can get tricky especially for mothers who have to go back to work after exhausting their maternity leave – usually 3 months.
As such, any help that can be offered to these mothers is more than welcome and part of that is equipping them with bottles for storage of expressed milk. Milk expression is where the mother is able to extract milk and stores it in containers for the baby to be fed when the mother is not around. This way the baby is able to feed on mother’s milk even when the mother is not physically there. The baby therefore does not miss on the immense benefits that come with having been breastfed exclusively for 6 months.
Towards this and in a bid to promote reproductive health as well as exclusive breastfeeding, OLX Kenya has blessed the Kenyatta National Hospital Labour ward with merchandise to support new mothers. The company donated refrigerators for storage of drugs, tea urns for use for the mothers in the labour ward and most importantly for breastfeeding, 10,000 units of storage bottles for expressed milk. This way, the women are able to breastfeed for longer periods of time even after they’ve gone back to work. Each mother takes away at least 3 of these tumblers.
What are some of the top benefits of exclusive breastfeeding to both mother and baby?
The best nutrition
In its wholesomeness and naturalness, breast milk provides all the nutrients, vitamins and micro nutrients a baby needs in the first 6 months of life. It also provides hormone and growth factors as well as digestive enzymes for the baby. It is just right for a growing baby’s delicate digestive system and ensures progressive growth.
It is cheap
Bringing up a baby on store bought milk or formula means constantly dipping into the wallet. This can amount to quite a huge amount of money and money is not exactly easy to come by. Breast milk is almost completely free of charge – except that the mother will have to spend on her own high nutrition foods. This frees the mother of the financial burden of buying formula.
It bonds mother and baby
Breastfeeding keeps the mother and baby in very close proximity and it is the one thing that only the mother can offer her baby. It is the best way for mother and baby to learn one another. Breast milk is pretty much custom made by nature and cannot be reproduced in any laboratory. It is very empowering for the mother to witness her baby growing and thriving on milk that she’s producing herself!
Getting back to shape
Mothers burn much more calories when lactating and this will help them get closer to their post pregnancy bodies.
The benefits of breast milk both to mother and baby are many and varied and enabling a woman to continue offering her baby breast milk even when she has gone back to work is very empowering them and to the baby as well. Expressing milk and storing it is one route to doing this and it is well and in for OLX to take a step towards making it possible.