Why is breastfeeding recommended for all babies?
Breast milk is considered most beneficial for babies. Breastfeeding meets all the needs of newborns – it is highly nutritious, it strengthens the immune system, and enhances the bond between mother and baby. World Breastfeeding Week is observed from August 1 to 7 to help all mothers understand the importance of exclusively breastfeeding babies for the first six months of life. Vientiane Times asked some women for their thoughts on breastfeeding.



Ms Sida Nanthavong, an employee in Xaythany district, Vientiane: I think a mother’s milk is most important for bringing mums and babies closer to each other by strengthening their relationship. It is not easy to raise babies and keep them healthy but breastfeeding helps a lot. All mothers should make sure they breastfeed for the benefit of their child’s development. By doing this, children will be healthier as they grow up. If babies are healthy, there is a better chance they will grow up to be strong adults and can contribute to the country’s development.
Ms Chansy Netthavong, a resident of Vientiane province: Breastfeeding is better than other methods of feeding because a mother’s milk has all the minerals, vitamins and nutrients which babies need to grow and develop, and it also reinforces the relationship between mothers and babies. However, there are many parents who don’t understand the importance of breastfeeding, especially in rural areas. The government should do more to support and promote breastfeeding.
Ms Chuang Xong, a resident of Vientiane province: I have heard about breastfeeding and its importance. Unfortunately, a long time ago, when I had my first baby, I did not know about this as I had not heard much about it and nobody advised me. I didn’t have enough time to take care of my baby all day long because I had to go to work at that time. So, after breastfeeding for the first two months, I decided to give instant milk to my newborn for the next four months because it was easier for me. I regretted my actions later when I understood the importance of breastfeeding. I think it is good to feed babies with our natural milk and I would like to ask mothers to learn more about this essential aspect of childcare. There should be more activities and campaigns about breastfeeding so that more people understand its importance.
Ms La Khaenghaeng, a resident of Sikhottabong district, Vientiane: I have read about the benefits of breastfeeding, including breast milk being crucial for babies’ health and development during a critical window. It can bolster brain development and reduce the mortality rate of babies, as well as reduce the risk of breast cancer. So I fed my baby myself as I believe breastfeeding is a vital part of giving a baby the best start in life. It is the best source of nutrition, can be considered a baby’s first vaccine, and is important for providing all the necessary nutrients. It also saved me a lot of money. Furthermore, breastfeeding helps mothers stay healthy. I think all mothers should give their babies only breast milk for the first six months. This will give them time to relax and take a break from work and form a strong bond with their baby.
Ms Boudsaba Thammavongsa, a resident of Xaythany district, Vientiane: Breastfeeding is very important for the physical and mental aspects of children’s development because it provides all the vitamins, minerals and antibodies that babies need to grow.
Unfortunately, some mothers are scared or hesitant to give their babies breast milk because they believe it may have a negative effect on their body. But breastfeeding benefits the mother’s health. When babies drink breast milk, it rebalances a mother’s hormones and helps to repair her body after childbirth.

By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update August 06, 2018)

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