April 11, 2024
Young mother breastfeeding your newborn baby boy at home

Young mother breastfeeding your newborn baby boy at home

Young mother breastfeeding your newborn baby boy at home

For the first six months of your babies life, giving nothing but breastmilk is recommended by the NHS. It comes with lots of nutritional value, health benefits, as well as emotional bonding.

But did you know breastfeeding can also encourage healthy eating habits?!

Well, according to new research parents who breastfeed their little ones for more than half a year are less likely to offer them sweet or savoury snacks before their first birthday, hinting that breastfeeding babies for longer could actually have a positive impact on making healthy food choices.

In the latest study, led by the University of Glasgow and published in the Maternal and Child Nutrition journal, researchers looked at the links between breastfeeding and the weaning process.

2730 parents were part of the Scottish Maternal Infant and Nutrition Survey which found a positive relationship between breastfeeding for six months and the diet of infants.

Of those surveyed, 20% of babies were solely infant formula-fed while 48% continued breastfeeding beyond 6 months. Research found that 15% of breastfed babies were less likely to be given treats as opposed to 45% of formula-fed babies.

The study also found that “babies who breastfed for six months were less likely to be offered commercial baby food.” Promoting healthy eating habits from a young age.

Dr Ada Garcia from the University of Glasgow led the study said: “In this study we were able to observe that diet inequalities start as early as 6-12 months old.

“This is worrying, because eating habits are developed and established early in life, and it can be harder to change them later on.

“Our research suggests that continuing to promote breastfeeding, where possible, may help to protecting infants’ health, along with helping to establish healthy dietary behaviours from a young age.”

The NHS advises to wean your baby onto solid foods at around six months of age. It said: “Breast milk or first infant formula provide the energy and nutrients your baby needs until they’re around 6 months old (with the exception of vitamin D in some cases).

“If you’re breastfeeding, feeding only breast milk up to around 6 months of age will help protect your baby against illness and infections.”

The research concludes that breastfeeding duration is in fact a predictor for healthful complementary feeding practices!

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