Benefits of Breastfeeding & Diet for Breastfeeding Mothers

Proper nutrition is initiated right after birth with breastfeeding. As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, infants should receive adequate complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to 12 months of age or beyond.

Some of the benefits of breastfeeding for infants include:

  • Better digestive tract function and protection from gastrointestinal infections that cause vomiting and diarrhea
  • A reduced risk of respiratory infections, ear infections, and wheezing
  • Some studies suggest that breastfeeding reduces the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, certain childhood cancers, and autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Compared with mothers who feed formula, women who breastfeed experience:

  • Reduced blood loss after childbirth as a result of a hormone, oxytocin, which is released into the mother’s bloodstream while breastfeeding.
  • Reduced levels of stress as a result of several hormones released during breastfeeding.
  • Increased weight loss after pregnancy (if breastfeeding continues for at least six months).
  • Decreased risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer.

In addition to the countless benefits of breastmilk, breastfeeding provides a strong bond between mother and baby.


Starting 4-6 months of age, your pediatrician will assess whether your infant is ready for solid food introduction: if he/she can sit upright and hold up his/her head, and if he/she is curious and looks at you while you are eating, and has mastered tongue movement to be able to eat from a spoon.

You can decide on the feeding schedule along with your pediatrician, but here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • When starting solid foods, give your baby one new food at a time — not mixtures.
  • Give the new food for 3 to 5 days before adding another new food to monitor for development of any allergies.
  • Your baby might not like a certain food from the first time, sometimes, it might take up to 15 trials for them to start appreciating it.
  • All food should be prepared and stored in a safe and clean manner. Avoid giving young children foods that may cause foodborne illness, such as: unpasteurized (raw) milk or any dairy products made from unpasteurized milk, raw or partially cooked eggs, raw or undercooked meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish, unwashed fruits or vegetables.
  • Avoid honey in any form for your child’s first year, as it can cause infant botulism.


As your child gets older, it is important to implement a regular schedule of meals and snacks, as this will help him/her to develop healthy eating habits for life. In fact, from the ages 2 to 5, children grow and develop in ways that affect behavior in all areas, including eating. Every day, you should offer your child a variety of nutrient-dense foods from each of the basic food groups: dairy products, protein, grains, fruits and vegetables. Make sure they get fresh, whole foods. Foods and beverages should contain little added salt, sugar, or caloric sweeteners.


To know more about breastfeeding and diet for breastfeeding mothers, contact our highly trained pediatricians at SHAMMA Clinic in Dubai.

Our Clinic is A Unique Practice Of Highly Trained Professionals. Visit Our Doctors Section To Schedule An Appointment With The Doctor Of Your Choice.
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