The phenomenon of breastfeeding is as old as time.
Babies born into the world have largely depended on breast milk otherwise called liquid gold to survive in their tender and fragile state.
As important as breastfeeding is in the life of a baby and mother as well, it hasn’t gone so well with some mothers and/or babies especially babies with lactose intolerance or other health challenges.
It becomes solely the decision of the mother whether to breastfeed her baby or not and even though the decision could draw strong attention from family or doctors, at the end of the day it is all up to you.
BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING IN EARLY LIFE OF BABIES
Breast milk contains antibodies and all the nutrients that your baby needs to grow and ward off diseases.
The breast milk naturally contains the vitamins, minerals and trace elements in the right proportion.
The protein needed for growth is present in milk.
The breast milk is made up highly of fat which the baby needs to for insulation and adaptation for a life outside the womb.
These nutrients are available in forms which can easily be digested and absorbed in the body of the child than formula can be digested.
Since breast milk is body milk, it is absorbed into all the part of the body of the baby whereas formula cannot be absorbed the same way.
Babies who are breastfed exclusively have fewer incidents of ear infections, colds, and chest infection because breast milk helps fight infection.
If a baby gets sick, the body of the mother produces antibodies which flow into the breast milk then to the baby to combat the infection.
Breastfeeding lines the baby’s digestive tract with probiotic bacteria which begin to form his microflora.
This lessens risks of allergies and asthma.
Breast milk is very important in the brain development of a child.
Because it contains polyunsaturated fatty acid essential in brain development
Your breastfed baby has a higher chance of recovering faster from any illness within the first year of life especially if you exclusively breastfeed for six months.
BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING IN LATER LIFE
Science has successfully linked the effect of exclusive breastfeeding to higher IQ in later childhood.
The bonding during skin to skin touching especially during breastfeeding helps children develop a sense of belonging and a feeling of being loved and secure.
Breastfeeding your baby also reduces the risk of diabetes and obesity and some types of cancers in later years.
BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING FOR THE MOTHER
Breastfeeding for you as a mother helps you in resolving some troubles that came with pregnancy such as weight gain.
Pregnancy helps you lose pregnancy weight and helps your womb contract returning your abdomen to its pre-pregnancy size.
Women who breastfeed are at lesser risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.
For some women, lactation and breastfeeding prevent ovulation which reduces the chance of getting pregnant.
And you enjoy freedom from your periods.
You can also consider the trouble of washing bottles and teats, sterilizing them and making sure they are always kept safe from microorganisms that exclusive breastfeeding saves you from.
And consider the money you save from not having to buy baby formula. Neither do you have to worry about
Breastfeeding your child helps you bond with your child better.
During breastfeeding Oxycontin the hormone which aids child delivery, prevent excessive loss of blood, uterus contraction is also produced in high amount when the baby suckles on the breast causing a high level of bonding and affection between mother and child.
COMMON CHALLENGES WITH BREASTFEEDING
This is a case of infection usually bacterial infection in the breast.
This infection can come as a result of cracked nipple or production of more milk than the baby consumes and the baby is not nursing long enough to empty the breast.
Signs are tenderness, swelling, redness, warm area and pain
The solution is to see a doctor right away who will give you antibiotics and analgesics to the infection and you be fine to nurse your baby happy again.
Engorgement is when your breasts are uncomfortably full, swollen and tender. It can be painful and can lead to difficulties in feeding your young one.
The solution is to pump out a little milk before breastfeeding your baby to make latching easy for the both of you.
With frequent nursing of your newborn, the engorgement subsides in a matter of days.
3. Sore nipples
Tenderness or soreness of the nipples is not new to many women and it is mostly because the body is adjusting to the demand of breastfeeding.
But if pain continues for a long period of time it could be because you are not placing your baby in a comfortable position to latch.
The solution is to get your baby to apply pressure on the areola, not the nipple.
4. clogged Ducts
The clogged area is usually swollen and painful. The first sign is a wedge-shaped area near the armpit usually tender and swollen.
The solution is to apply warm water to the area to help open the duct. Also, apply gentle pressure on the breast toward the nipple.
COMMON FOOD TO AVOID WHILE BREASTFEEDING
Many nursing mothers find out that they can eat whatever they choose to even the food they didn’t like when pregnant.
And babies love a variety of taste in breast milk especially familiar taste which they tasted from the amniotic fluid.
As much as babies love a variety of taste in the breastmilk and you want to be able to eat anything you want, keep in mind that some things you eat could affect your baby and make them fussy or unable to stool.
When this is noticed, stop food you took around that period for some days and reintroduce it to be certain if it really has any effect on the baby.
Here are lists of food which can either affect your lactation and/or your baby and so should be avoided:
You as a nursing mother should not think of going near Alcohol because alcohol enters breast milk which can have a negative effect on your baby.
But if you choose to drink then the quantity should not be more than a glass cup and you should give an interval of one to two hours before you breastfeed again.
Alcohol doesn’t stay too long in the body.
Chocolate could have a laxative effect on your baby because it contains caffeine. It can make your baby fussy, have runny poop, eczema or an aching stomach.
While you might not totally eliminate chocolate, you can cut back on it. Watch your baby’s behavior after sucking your breast milk when you take chocolate and if it disturbs your baby then eliminate it.
It is better to have a healthy and happy baby.
While you don’t have to avoid fish totally, you have to be selective of which to eat while nursing.
Some types of fish are heavy in mercury which is not good for the development of your child and mercury can find its way into your milk supply while lactating.
Just like there were types of fish you couldn’t eat while pregnant, follow the same rule while breastfeeding.
The smell of garlic and other spices listed above can enter into your milk supply and can put off your little one from latching.
Watch out if you baby occasionally is reluctant to latch especially if you have just taken something with garlic or any of the above spices for it just might be implicated.
Oranges, lemons, limes, grape are in the class of citrus fruits. They are common and are a great source of vitamin C.
While you might think they are healthy for your sucking baby, it is not really good for your baby just yet because the gastrointestinal tract of your little one is still too tender to handle the compounds or raw nutrients in citrus fruits.
This can cause them irritation, spitting up, fussiness. If you need vitamin C then think of mango or pineapple.
This can only come to play in foods to avoid if you have a history of peanut allergy in your family. It will be advisable to stay away from peanuts or groundnuts till you have successfully weaned your child from breast milk.
Other lists of food to avoid are:
There are many other great foods around to play with and enjoy.
BREASTFEEDING TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
As important as breastfeeding is to mother and child, for many moms especially new moms, lactation experience has had its toll on them.
From struggling to get your baby to latch properly to not producing sufficient breastmilk, and many moms did not find their breastfeeding journey funny.
Here Are Some Techniques To Help In Breastfeeding:
Make sure you hold your baby properly to prevent her falling off your hands especially if you sleep off.
Position your baby in such a way that your body is not stressed or strained in order to relieve or prevent aches.
When breastfeeding, make sure you are in a comfortable position. You can choose to lie down if that makes you comfortable and your baby comfortable.