Physicians confirm that Breast Milk Helps with Baby’s Brain Development
On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week celebrated from 1 – 7 August of every year, Danat Al Emarat Hospital for Women and Children in Abu Dhabi hosted two educational workshops this week both in English and Arabic. The workshops come in line with Danat Al Emarat Hospital’s drive to provide world-class health services for women and children and improving the long-term health of the community. Both talks were attended by over 75 mothers-to-be.
Led by a team of experts from Danat Al Emarat Hospital, the workshops focused on preparing expectant mothers for the vital days, weeks and months after their babies are born, encouraging them to breastfeed and providing them with the knowledge and confidence to successfully manage it.
Physicians said that international studies and research confirm that breastfeeding helps with the brain development of the baby because of the proteins found in breast milk and that children who were breastfed for at least 6 months had better learning and thinking development. Obstetricians also spoke about the benefits of Colostrum the first few days of delivery that includes a lot of antibodies to protect the newborn against diseases and infections.
“Breastfeeding also enforces the development of the babies’ jaw and teeth, and improves vision in addition to creating a special bond between the newborn and the mother. For the baby, benefits include reduced incidence of gastroenteritis, ear infections, respiratory infection, urinary tract infections, childhood obesity, asthma and eczema and others as per international studies,” Dr. Gowri Ramanathan, Chair of Women’s Services and Head of Fetal Medicine at Danat Al Emarat Hospital said. “The benefits are tremendous and extend beyond providing your children with the needed nutrients and vitamins, to supplying them with disease-fighting substances that protect from many illnesses, in addition to boosting their intelligence. Breastfeeding also helps improve mothers’ health.”
One of the speakers also stated that mothers who breastfeed have reduced incidence of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, hip fractures in later life, postnatal depression, post-partum haemorrhage and helps with weight control. The women were also educated on the difference between breast milk and formula milk, as more healthy elements are only found in breast milk including anti-inflammatory enzymes, hormones and other rich nutrients.
“We are pleased to engage with future mothers during such educational gatherings. Education is one of the key milestones towards a healthier community. We are proud that of the 4100 mothers who delivered in our hospital since we opened back in October 2015. Most of the mothers were educated on breastfeeding during such talks; and at our monthly antenatal classes; and during physician’s consultations. In addition, breastfeeding education is also provided during their stay in hospital after delivery,” said Vino Nallaya, CEO of Danat Al Emarat Hospital.
During the workshop sessions, mothers-to-be listened attentively to presentations on the benefits of breastfeeding and received practical and useful information on the benefits of breastfeeding to the mom and the baby.
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year, in over 170 countries around the globe, from 1 to 7 August and aims to raise awareness of the health and wellbeing benefits of breastfeeding for mothers, children and the long term public health for everyone.