Table Of Contents
- Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Baby And Mom
- Breastfeeding Baby
- Benefits of Breastfeeding For Baby
- Benefits Of Breastfeeding For The Mom
- Breastfeeding Problems
- Expressing Breast Milk And Milk Storage
- Formula For Babies
- What Foods To Avoid When Breastfeeding
- Best Food For Breastfeeding Mother
- How Much And How Often
Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Baby And Mom
Volumes upon volumes can be written on the benefits of breastfeeding – it’s just that good for your baby’s wellbeing.
Nursing your newborn is one of the most natural and intimate of human experiences, but breastfeeding is not free from confusions and difficulties just because it’s a natural process.
A lot of new mom feel overwhelmed and a few decide to give up entirely but breastfeeding your baby is one of the most valuable gifts you can bestow upon them so that they can live a happy and healthy life.
Benefits of Breastfeeding For Baby
Importance Of Breastfeeding
Ranging from physical shields against infections and major diseases to a boost in brain activity leading to a higher Intelligence Quotient (IQ), nursing your newborn is the best decision you’ll ever make for both you and your baby.
Nutrition experts and gynecologists claim that infections causing pneumonia and colds as well as gastrointestinal infections like diarrhea are much less common in babies who received benefits of breastfeeding.
These infections can lead to complications for your newborn and are especially devastating in the developing world. The act of feeding your baby breast milk acts as a shield that protects the baby against the discomfort of these complications.
However, if you think the Benefits of Breastfeeding is only helpful in decreasing the incidence of the common cold, think again! Babies who are nursed have a significantly reduced risk of acquiring chronic diseases such as cancers, diabetes, arthritis and heart diseases.
Breastfeeding your baby also reduced by half the incidence of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Not only do breastfed baby acquire illnesses less often but their ability to fight off diseases is also accentuated.
Studies indicate that among the Benefits of Breastfeeding :
Breastfeeding leads to a boost in immunity in the Breastfed Baby have a better antibody response during vaccination. So your breast milk can empower your baby to brave out the world with more physical vigor and avoid many unpleasant and precarious illnesses.
Breastfeeding protects your baby from constipation.
Advantages of Breastfeeding
Another reason why Breastfeeding is the best diet for your newborn is that your body naturally regulates its supply and constitution based on the baby’s needs whereas formula milk remains the same in concentration and regulating it would require painstaking research and consume lots of time, energy and money.
La Leche League International reports that formula can cost something ranging anywhere from $134 to $491 per month. That’s $1,608 to $5,892 spent in one year for something that comes as a free bonus with your pregnancy. Not only is it cost efficient but it works as an inbuilt system that maximizes the well-being of your child by varying its constitution.
One of the best benefits of breastfeeding for baby:
The “pre-milk” called Colostrum that comes out right after the delivery is packed full of antibodies to protect your newborn when it is most vulnerable. Its high protein and low sugar content can hold off your baby’s hunger in a much smaller quantity than “full” milk would.
About a week into the delivery, your full milk comes out with higher sugar concentration and volume than colostrum. At this stage, your baby needs to feed more often to get the energy s/he needs to grow, and so your breast milk is designed to be quickly digested by the infant leading to an increased frequency of feeding.
Benefits Of Breastfeeding For The Mom
At this point you may be convinced that choosing to breastfeed is the best decision for the baby but how about on Benefits of Breastfeeding for mom? Truth be told, there is much discomfort to be brave during the adjustment period but in a lot of ways breastfeeding your baby can be directly beneficial to you as well.
Breastfeeding prevents obesity in both the mother and the baby. So if you want to hit the gym and lose all that weight you put on during your pregnancy, it is recommended you do it while breastfeeding.
Nursing also helps quicken your recovery from childbirth, due to a hormone called oxytocin that is secreted during the act of nursing. It heals your uterus and reduces post-delivery blood loss.
Furthermore, not only is your breastfed baby protected from cancer but you decrease your risk of premenopausal breast and ovarian cancer and postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Not to mention full time breastfeeding gives you a vacation from your period and free birth control. Nursing also increases oxytocin and prolactin levels that make you more stress resistant and are enabling to a good night’s sleep.
The first thing you need to know about breastfeeding is that latching must be done properly otherwise your baby may not be receiving the proper feed that s/he needs.
Instant latching within half an hour of the delivery results in fewer problems later on. The baby should be positioned in a way that his/her belly is flush against yours.
Next, you must hold your areola (the dark area surrounding the nipple) and touch your nipple to his/her upper lip. Lastly, deftly scoop your breast inside his/her mouth when open by placing his lower jaw well behind the nipple, so that s/he takes at least 1.5 inches of the areola in his/her mouth.
If your baby bites down on your nipples too often, don’t be alarmed because this is completely normal behavior. In order to condition him against it immediately stop breastfeeding when he clamps down on you and reprimand by voicing a firm “No!” This will discourage the infant from repeating this behavior.
A lot of new mom complain of cracked nipples which are the result of an incorrect latch. Make sure your baby is positioned correctly. Refer to the latching mentioned above instructions.
In the meantime, try applying expressed breast milk, medicinal lanolin (unless you have an allergy to wool) or any natural lotion/ointment to help with the rawness. It is also recommended to wear bra shells. They contribute to air out your breasts and prevent excessive friction with the fabric of the bra.
Expressing Breast Milk And Milk Storage
Expressing Breast Milk
Expressing milk means squeezing it out of your breast for storage. This may be if you’re going to be away from your baby, if you’re going back to work or if you want to mix it with the baby’s first solid feed. You can express milk by hand or pump (breast milk pump) making sure that the container being used is sterilized.
Instructions for expressing breast milk are simple: gently squeeze the area behind the areola with your thumb and fingers in a c shape. At first only drops will appear, but eventually, you will achieve free flow. The nipple should not be stimulated directly as it causes soreness.
Storage of expressed breast milk should not exceed five days in the refrigerator at 4 degrees Celsius or lower, two weeks in ice and up to six months in a freezer if milk is stored with the best breast milk storage bags. Before use, frozen expressed milk must be defrosted.
Never re-freeze milk once thawed but defrosted frozen breast milk is still safe for your baby and better than formula.
It is perfectly alright to feed milk straight out of the refrigerator if your baby is happy with it cold. The milk can also be warmed to room temperature by placing it in a warm bottle.
As a principle, when heating milk always tests the temperature on the wrist before giving it to the infant. Once the baby had drunk from a prepared bottle, it should be used within an hours’ time, and the excess is thrown out.
Formula For Babies
Although the benefits of breastfeeding has a plethora of documented benefits, it is impossible for any new mom and formula for babies is always a good option. Formula milk can also be frozen and used the same way as breast milk but must never be re-frozen. Sterilization is also of paramount importance and must be taken care of conscientiously.
It is usually a smart option for working mothers to breastfeed the first three to four months depending on maternity leave and use both formula and breast milk when they go back to work to keep the baby flexible with his/her feeding preferences.
What Foods To Avoid When Breastfeeding
There is a lot of concern about what foods are healthy for a breastfeeding mom and what must be avoided during the nursing period.
Caffeine should be prevented (less than 300 mg a day – one to three cups a day) before feeding as it makes it to your breast milk and seriously disturbs your baby’s sleep schedule and cause irritability.
Some kinds of fish are high in mercury that should be avoided both during pregnancy and after. Chocolate should not be used in excess as it serves as a laxative that may disturb your baby’s bowel movements. Parsley or peppermint, alcohol, and citrus are problem foods.
Wheat, dairy, and peanuts must be carefully handled in case your baby has an allergy for which you should be on the lookout. Research signs and symptoms and eliminate problem foods from your diet to ascertain what is causing the allergic reactions.
Best Food For Breastfeeding Mother
Foods that are good for lactation are foods rich in protein and sugar e.g. meats, especially fish, sugar, fruits, and vegetables like beet and carrots. Water intake must be consistent, so the breast milk doesn’t dry out.
How Much And How Often
A lot of new mom is concerned about whether their babies are getting enough milk (how many ounces should a newborn eat and how often should a newborn eat). The best way is to monitor their weight and regular bowels carefully.
The baby should have six to eight wet ones and two mustard-colored stools daily by the time he’s seven days old. As long as the baby’s weight is on a rise and the bowel movements are regular, it is safe to assume the baby is getting a proper feed.
One must remember however that it is normal for the babies to lose weight during their first few days. Don’t be alarmed if this happens; having said that, they should return to their birth weight two weeks into their lives and then show an increase in weight.
If this does not happen, the feeding is not regular enough, and you should see your pediatrician. As far as frequency is concerned, new moms should nurse eight to twelve times per day for the first month. Breastfeeding requires greater frequency than formula feeds because breast milk gets digested faster.
By the time your baby is 1 to 2 months of age, s/he will want to be nursed seven to nine times a day. However, before the routine sets in breastfeeding should be on demand, which is every three hours. Newborns should be fed every four hours under all circumstances.
With increased age, children nurse less often and develop a more set routine. However, some toddlers still want to be fed every hour and a half or every two to three.
Night feedings are imperative despite being as disruptive as they are. Your body produces more prolactin that promotes lactation and night feed regulate steady milk production. You should try to get rid of the clock on your nightstand and keep the lights off while feeding. It also helps to keep your clothing easily accessible.
It is not advisable for the mother to pump out milk in advance and sleep through the baby’s feed as this will affect her milk production which won’t come in sync with the baby’s hunger. This can be extremely uncomfortable and frustrating when you try to feed the baby during the day.
Conclusion: Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Baby And Mom
All in all, bringing a new life into this world and caring for it is not a piece of cake but at the end of the day it is incredibly rewarding and a source of persistent joy.
No new parents are born with the explicit knowledge of parenthood. It’s a big hit and trial process but with a large attention to detail and research, you can make sure you give your baby the best of everything.
Breastfeeding is one of those beautiful experiences that can be scary, but fear can always be overcome with a willingness of learning and solve problems. After all, you don’t want to miss out on the experience of nursing your baby – an experience of immense pleasure for both you and your little one.