Exclusive Breastfeeding

The other day I saw my mother -in-law sticking a spoon of tea into my 2 month baby’s mouth. I managed to stop her in the last second. She then took a sip and dumped the tea because she didn’t like it. Please! Why would you want to give anything to my exclusively breastfed baby! It is widely believed that breastfeeding has many benefits, particularly if you nurse exclusively and for longer than 6 months.


Breastfeeding has numerous benefits for both mom and baby:

  • Breastfeeding protects your baby from a long list of illnesses
  • Breastfeeding can protect your baby from developing allergies
  • Breastfeeding may boost your child’s intelligence
  • Breastfeeding may protect your child from obesity
  • Breastfeeding may lower your baby’s risk of SIDS
  • Breastfeeding can reduce your stress level and your risk of postpartum depression
  • Breastfeeding may reduce your risk of some types of cancer


  • Breastfeeding toddlers get sick less often than their peers.
  • The strong connection your child feels with you while nursing will foster independence, not make him overly dependent or clingy as some may have you believe.
  • If you travel a lot, breastfeeding is a lot easier than carrying around milk or worrying about having to buy any at your destination.And when you’re staying overnight in a strange place, the comfort of your breast may be the best way to ease your child’s fears and make him feel more secure.


Newest research suggests that failing to start weaning on to solid food (they are not talking about formula milk) before six months appears to raise risks for the baby. Evidence that was unavailable when the WHO made its recommendation to breastfeed for minimum 6 months suggests that babies exclusively breastfed for 6 months have a greater chance of iron deficiency anaemia, “known to be linked to irreversible adverse mental, motor or psychosocial outcomes.”

Other evidence, they say, suggests that babies not introduced to certain foods earlier than six months may have a higher incidence of food allergies. “Countries where peanuts are used as weaning foods have low incidences of peanut allergy (Israel, for example),” they write.

The third potential issue is coeliac disease. The numbers of children developing coeliac disease rose in Sweden following advice to mothers to delay the introduction of gluten into their child’s diet until after six months, and it fell when the recommendation reverted to four months.

So, maybe my mother-in-law is right?


You might also like:

Breastfeeding 101

Guilty! I Fall Asleep While Nursing!

Pacifiers 101

Newborn Baby Sleep

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Categories: Baby Manual

Author:Alinka Rutkowska

Alinka is a best-selling and award-winning Children's Author.


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4 Comments on “Exclusive Breastfeeding”

  1. October 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    Yes yes yes! 100% agree and feel very strongly about this subject. At the weekend I found my mother in law trying to get my baby to take a dummy covered in syrup and jam. The weekend before, his aunt put a taste of sugar icing in his mouth. I’ve tried to explain why I am not happy with this but they don’t understand. in France breastfeeding is not very common, in fact they keep trying to get me to bottle feed because it would inevitably be better for Lucas as we’d be able to see how much he was taking. What rubbish! He had tummy ache yesterday and was very grumpy and my partner’s family said it must be because my milk is no good…its not easy…

    I’m going to translate your article and take it to show them next weekend so thank you!

    • October 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      Thank you for sharing Catherine. I totally understand. Fortunately breastfeeding is quite common in Italy but the family likes to make decisions together…including what baby should be eating. And my mother-in-law put me on a no tomato diet because she thinks Mia gets a rash because of it… I am honored you are going to translate my article 🙂

  2. October 1, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    il mio bambino ha quasi otto mesi, e ho iniziato a svezzarlo a luglio, ma fino ad allora non gli davo nemmeno l’acqua mentre io mangiavo tutto, come se niente fosse, sotto suggerimento specifico del pediatra che mi ha consigliato di non escludere niente dalla mia dieta, neanche i cibi che si pensarendano un po’ amaro il sapore al latte.

    il mio bambino non ha mai visto un pediatra se non la prima settimana di vita, giusto per avere qualche suggerimento su come comportarmi.

    scoperto che potevo fare praticamente come preferivo mi sono comportata con molta naturalezza, ed ancora adesso mangio tutto quello che desidero e alla fine del quinto mese anche il bimbo ha iniziato a sperimentare nuovi sapori. ma il mio latte è ancora l’alimento per eccellenza per lui!

    e lo sarà ancora a lungo. 🙂

    • October 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

      Brava Gabriella! Anch’io intendo di allattare a lungo 🙂

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