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'Efsharibari' Breastfeeding: Gaining Strength

This year, Breastfeeding Promotion Week 2020 is focused on the importance of breastfeeding to the strength and resilience of babies and mothers alike.

'Efsharibari' Breastfeeding: Gaining Strength

Breastfeeding Promotion Week 2020 is held as the coronavirus crisis keeps turning the world upside down, changing our way of life as it was just a few months ago. Despite these circumstances, and perhaps especially in such times, we at the Ministry of Health and the "Efsharibari" national program believe it is essential to present breastfeeding's unique significance to the public.

This year's main topic is: "'Efsharibari' Breastfeeding: Gaining Strength." This topic focuses on several areas, all of which take into consideration not only the physical strength of babies, mothers and the entire family, but also their mental health.

Efsharibari: breastfeeding and strengthening the baby's immune system

Through the breastfeeding and the mother's milk, the mother gives her baby nutrients, the optimal building block for their immune system. Over the last three months of pregnancy, antibodies are transmitted from the mother to the fetus through the placenta. They provide the fetus with passive and temporary immunity over the course of his or her first few weeks. Later on, the mother's milk provides many ingredients for the immune system (antibodies, cells, cytokines, and more) that protect the baby.

You should know: a strong immune system assists protecting the baby from infectious diseases, and especially the respiratory and gastrointestinal system. The benefits provided by the mother's milk are maintained throughout the breastfeeding period.

Efsharibari: breastfeeding and sustaining the microbiome

The microbiome (the composition of microorganisms found inside the body, especially intestinal bacteria, which play a crucial role in maintaining our health) of breastfed babies is different from that of babies who are fed formula milk. The unique bacteria that develop in the intestines of breastfed babies significantly contribute to disease prevention and reinforcement of the immune system. The mother's milk provides the optimal development of these intestinal bacteria, which are crucial to build the immune system, prevent diseases, reduce the risk of allergies, and possibly the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndromes in later life.

You should know: Breastfeeding has more health benefits, and studies show that breastfed babies are less likely to develop overweight, obesity, and diabetes later in life.

Efsharibari breastfeeding and increasing mother and child's immunity

Successful breastfeeding significantly contributes to the mother's sense of maternal competence and the baby's sense of security. Breastfeeding also increases the mother's responsiveness to her baby and improves the chance that the baby react better to stress. Many studies show that breastfeeding women are less likely to suffer breast and ovarian cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The more years the mother breastfeeds throughout her life, the protective effect against breast and ovarian cancer increases.

Breastfeeding's many benefits are not a substitute of vaccines

Routine vaccinations are an additional and crucial aspect of ensuring the newborn's immunity to certain dangerous diseases that affect both breastfed and non-breastfed babies. Breastfeeding by itself, cannot prevent certain diseases such as meningitis or measles. Therefore, it is essential that breastfed babies also receive their vaccinations in the recommended time-frame.

You should know: breastfeeding at the time of administering the vaccination may ease the baby's pain. Studies show that breastfed babies have a better immune response.

אפשריבריא להניק ולהעניק חוסן

Breastfeeding Week 2020
'Efsharibari' Breastfeeding: Gaining Strength
Strenghtening the immune system; improving the microbiome sustainability; strenghtening the mother and the baby
*An addition to routine vaccines
Information and recommendations at the website and Facebook page of Efsharibari

Downloadable and printable materials

A3 Printable Poster - Hebrew 
Screen-view Photo, 16:9 Ratio - Hebrew 
A3 Printable Poster - Arabic 
Screen-view Photo, 16:9 Ratio - Arabic 

For further information

EfshariBari Breastfeeding – a Healthy Start in Life
EfshariBari Breastfeeding, Family-Friendly Breastfeeding
A Healthy Diet for the First 1,000 Days of a Child’s Life

Additional links from the Ministry of Health's website

The importance of routine vaccinations for babies and children (Hebrew)
The importance of vaccinations for women before, during, and after the pregnancy (Hebrew)
Successful breastfeeding tips
Prevention of breastfeeding difficulties
Pumping breast milk
Storage and thawing of breast milk
The importance of breastfeeding
Feeding the baby in the first year of life
Breastfeeding and returning to work