Aim: The aim of this study was to summarize different types of benefits that have been observed in the baby's development and the mother's psychological health during the postpartum period.
Background: Breastfeeding is a natural process that plays a vital role in the physical as well as mental health of the mother and child. Breast milk is rich in contents such as proteins, fats, and vitamins, which are responsible for building the immune system of the baby. Lactation helps in decreasing the prevalence of infant mortality rate. It enhances the development of the physical health of the children. Breastfeeding protects the mother from many systemic conditions like endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, etc. It has been observed that with an increase in healthy breastfeeding practices, there is a decline in the cases of maternal mental health issues reported mainly in the postpartum period.
Review result: The authors have explained various types of advantages of breastfeeding on the child's and mother's health, their mechanism of action, effects on the baby, and mother–child relationship.
Conclusion: The mother's mental health plays a crucial role in a healthy infant, and breastfeeding is key to it. The role of breastfeeding is therefore considered a boon for the mother because if there is a decrease in health issues in the child, the mother's mental condition improves automatically. Therefore, breastfeeding should be promoted at the national level.
Clinical significance: Breastfeeding not only helps in reducing maternal stress and postpartum depression but also improves the physical health of the child and mother during the postpartum period. The clinicians should teach mothers about the importance and also the correct positions of breastfeeding. “Breastfeeding week” is celebrated every year from August 1 to August 7, as implemented by the Indian government.
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