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Science tells us that breastfeeding and breastmilk provide all the nutrients and antibodies to give babies the very best start, with health benefits for babies and mothers.
As the backbone of early nutrition, breastfeeding is a key influence on adult health, intellect and longevity. Research shows that people who were breastfed as babies are less likely to be overweight or obese, are less prone to diabetes, and perform better in intelligence tests.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that every child should be exclusively breastfed for six months, with partial breastfeeding continuing until two years of age. Yet of the 136 million births worldwide each year, it is estimated that only 38 per cent of babies are breastfed for six months.
In Australia there are more than 300,000 births each year, but only 14 per cent of women exclusively breastfeed to around six months.
Born to Breastfeed fills the information gap. Taking the baby’s perspective, it draws on uptodate, evidencebased research and midwifery practices during pregnancy, birth and postnatal care, explaining how mothers can respond to baby’s actions and needs to improve the health of future generations. From those precious first minutes after birth, the author brings together facts about breastfeeding as well as strategies to help solve breastfeeding problems, dispelling misinformation about breastfeeding and infant feeding in general. She discusses the incidence of serious health issues including diabetes, asthma, allergies, middle ear infections, obesity, childhood cancers and inflammatory bowel disease all significantly higher among infants and children who have not been breastfed and documents the benefits to mothers’ health. Exclusive breastfeeding is associated with a natural method of birth control (98 per cent protection in the first six months after birth), reduces the risks of breast and ovarian cancer, and helps women return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster. Real life accounts from breastfeeding mothers inject empathy and humour, making Born to Breastfeed accessible to all new mums.
Not only does Born to Breastfeed expertly explain the science and physiology of breastfeeding, clearly outlining the many benefits, it packs in all of the practical information a new mum needs to know. I have no doubt that this will fast become the feeding bible for all new mums and I sincerely hope the end result is far more babies reaping the benefits of nature’s truly amazing first food. Dr Joanna McMillan PhD qualified dietitian and nutritionist, author and health presenter (drjoanna.com.au)
Breastmilk is nature’s perfect food for babies. It contains all the correct nutrients in the right proportions at the perfect temperature, and provides the foundation for lifelong health. Born to Breastfeed is the ultimate guide for new mothers who want to give their children the best start in life. Catherine Saxelby Accredited nutritionist, best-selling author and founder of foodwatch.com.au