Dr. Michael Kramer explains why breast milk is best in terms of the health of a child, but that mothers who don't should not feel guilty.
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The Benefits Of Breastfeeding Rebecca Brayton: After experts reveal the benefits of breastfeeding, this traditional practice has regained popularity but still remains a sensitive issue for some women. Female: Now we’ve been told for years that breast is best. Female: I would never breastfeed, never. Female: It doesn’t come naturally to everybody. Rebecca Brayton: Hi, I’m Rebecca Brayton and welcome to watchmojo.com. Today we’ll be learning more about this issue from world renowned breastfeeding expert, Dr. Michael Kramer. Why should women breastfeed? Dr. Michael Kramer: It’s been shown that breastfeeding has many health advantages and developmental advantages for the baby and it’s also healthier for the long term health of the mother. There’s very good evidence that breastfeeding particularly prolong and exclusive breastfeed during the period when the brain is developing. Actually accelerates brain development. Adults who have been breastfeed fro a long period of time and pretty exclusively has higher IQs. That they do better in school. There is some tantalizing suggestions that breastfeeding they protect against type 1 diabetes, lymphoma, leukemia and other kind of blood cancer. Rebecca Brayton: Is there a correct way to breastfeed? Dr. Michael Kramer: There are many incorrect ways of breastfeeding. Particularly involving just having the baby nipple suck and not actually milk the breast and that’s what damages nipples. Rebecca Brayton: How often one breastfeed? Dr. Michael Kramer: It’s really the baby that determines how often and how much. It’s very variable. Early on after birth, it could be an hour later, an hour and a half later that’s typical. It could be half hour later if the baby just didn’t get enough that time. Sometimes it’s 3 or 4 hours at night. Rebecca Brayton: At what age should it stop? Dr. Michael Kramer: There’s really not much evidence about health benefits either for the baby or the mother beyond the second year of life. That there’s no upper maximum, beyond which it’s been shown to either be harmful to the child or the mother. Rebecca Brayton: Can you explain to us a bit about the debate between formula feeding and breastfeeding? Dr. Michael Kramer: Formula feeding was by far the most common form of infant feeding after the Second World War. I think the Niger that is the lowest point in breastfeeding was in late 60s or early 70s and it has some of the renaissance since then largely because of the recognition of the health benefits. We keep finding things new about breast milk that are better than the formula. The formulas are better than they used to be but they’re still not as good as breast milk. Rebecca Brayton: Do you have any final thoughts? Dr. Michael Kramer: I would just say for women who are either don’t want to or can’t, they shouldn’t feel guilty that they were unable to do it or unable to do it for very long. So I’ve owe have a very strong in terms of encouraging women to breastfeed. I don’t think women who don’t want to or can’t, should feel guilty about it. Rebecca Brayton: Thank you very much. Dr. Michael Kramer: My pleasure, thank you.