Allah the Almighty has bestowed countless blessings on Man. One such great and indispensable blessing is the mother’s milk. It is a great blessing, especially for newborn babies. Undoubtedly, breastfeeding is the best and most beneficial and effective method of nutrition. Additionally, it satisfies both the baby’s psychological and emotional needs, as well as his physical needs.
Unequivocally, breast milk is the indispensable and ideal food for newborns in all cases. A baby does not need any other food during his first five months. Despite the huge progress in the field of manufactured baby food, no alternative food has been discovered to be equal to mother’s milk in terms of its psychological, emotional and nutritional benefits. The advantages of mother’s milk are as follows:
1- It is a clean and safe food that a baby can get easily.
2- It satisfies all the nutritious needs of a baby during the early months of his life.
3- It contains natural protection against bacteria and provides a baby with immense protection and immunity.
4- It is easily digested and quickly assimilated, whether in full-term or premature babies.
5- It deepens the emotional bond between a mother and her child due to the psychological relationship established by the nursing process.
6- Suckling helps strengthen the baby’s jaws and accelerates the appearance of teeth.
7- A mother’s milk protects her child from obesity later in life.
8- It prevents malnutrition and many health problems.
9- It includes biochemical elements that provide the baby with immunity to many diseases.
10- It helps to create reasonable periods between the birth of one baby and the next because the possibility of pregnancy decreases during the period of nursing.
11- Mother’s milk is economical and alleviates the economic burden on the family and society.
12- Children who are breastfed do not fall prey to excessive allergies.
13- Breastfeeding protects mothers against the dangers of breast cancer.
14- Breastfeeding contributes to protecting the mother from obesity and helps her to restore her shape.
15- It protects children from severe colon inflammation.
16- Babies who are breastfed are less vulnerable to serious disorders during the first month.
Psychologists have proved that it is very important for babies to start breastfeeding immediately after birth as this helps the baby lead a peaceful and stable psychological and emotional life. Additionally, physical contact between the baby and his mother is very important in creating emotional ties between them. These ties provide a child with a feeling of both psychological security and physical comfort, and helps him grow naturally and correctly.
Obviously, many of the psychological barriers, cases of emotional deprivation, and family breakdowns that are rampant in the West are due to the lack of emotional and psychological relationships between children and their mothers during their early days because mothers do not breastfeed their babies. Also, the complicated materialistic way of life imposed by western civilization on women encourages them to deprive their babies from being breastfed. Moreover, the belief that natural nursing affects women’s health and beauty has caused mothers to neglect breastfeeding their babies.
There are other factors that have also contributed to this problem in developing countries. These factors include changes in the mothers’ lifestyle, the spread of ignorance and misconceptions and imitation of the west, as well as mothers’ work outside the home. Also, we should not forget that there are other factors which have aggravated these problems such as the selfishness of some women and the use of formula milk instead of breast-milk as well as a lack of incentives that encourage breastfeeding.
Using formula milk is a dangerous and expensive process and results in countless problems. In other words, it is a dangerous behavior that threatens poor families and subjects babies to the danger of food contamination and excessive milk adulteration with water. Thus, it is important for a mother not to deprive her child from his right to be nursed naturally as long as she is healthy. If we think carefully about the dangers of using alternatives to mother’s milk, the whole situation would change. Additionally, depending on formula milk exposes societies to the danger of disintegration and subjects our children to dangerous diseases.
Therefore, what a great and noble mission Allah The Almighty has bestowed on mothers, taking care of an innocent and helpless baby by nursing him and feeding him with love and compassion along with her own milk. Indeed, it is a Divine gift bestowed by Allah The Exalted on mothers before it is bestowed upon their babies. Breastfeeding not only benefits the baby, but it also, first and foremost, satisfies the emotional and physical needs of women. The need of a mother to breastfeed her baby makes her play a positive and effective role in the stability of the society and the upbringing of the future generation.