Breast Feeding: Why Breastfeeding Is Important For Mother & Child
Definition Of Breastfeeding According To UNICEF
Breastfeeding is the process of feeding babies and young infants with milk from a woman’s breast. It is also known as nursing; the breast milk is considered the best and preferred milk for all infants including premature and sick babies. Children who are given breast milk have more survival chance compared to children not breastfed.
Breast Milk Nutrition Facts: Major Components Of Breast Milk
The major nutrients found in breast milk include the following:
Energy, Protein, Fat, Carbohydrate
Sodium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron,
Vitamin A,C,D, Chlorine, Water
Types Of Breastfeeding Positions
The essence of breastfeeding positions is for the mother to feel comfortable while breastfeeding as well as giving the child a free and direct access to the breast milk. The mother may choose the position that works fine for her or may choose a different position depending on the situation and location.
Few among the available breastfeeding positions are highlighted below:
This can be done by allowing the baby to lie across your lap while supporting her with your hands. You can use either the same arm with the breast or the opposite arm to support the child depending on your choice. The other free hand is used to adjust the position of the tip if the breast for easy access for the child.
This position makes the mother lying down parallel to the body of the child while supporting the child with one hand.
This position is ideal for women with large breast; the child is positioned to face the breast with the baby’s leg being put under the arm of the mother at the same side of the feeding breast. It is also good for premature babies and small babies.
This is basically ideal for feeding a set of twins at a time. The mother needs to support the babies with cushion under the babies and use the two hands for their support.
Other notable breastfeeding styles include laid-back breastfeeding and cross over hold.
Breastfeeding Tips: How Do I Get My Baby To Latch Correctly?
*Do not remove or pull your breast abstractly to avoid injury to the nipple
*Do not hunch over your baby
*Ensure the baby’s head and body face the same position while breastfeeding
*Do not allow the baby to be too far from the breast during breastfeeding
*Avoid blocking the nose of the baby while breastfeeding
*You may need to give a short break while breastfeeding
*Offer both sides at each feeding
*Nurse the baby as long as she wants
*Eat food rich in balance diet, fruits and vegetables to improve your health while breastfeeding
Can Female Lactate If They Are Not Pregnant?
Women lactate when she starts producing breast milk. Lactation is normal for women who are pregnant or just gave birth. It is however, possible for a woman who is not pregnant to lactate; even some men do.
Whenever a woman lactates and she is not pregnant or nursing, then she needs to find out the reason. It could be as a result of infection but generally, discharge from the nipple is nothing to worry about. It is only your doctor that can tell you if it a major concern or not after conducting a test or physical examination.
How Long Do You Have To Breastfeed For It To Be Beneficial To The Baby?
It is recommended that new born babies should be given exclusive breastfeeding with no other food or drink for the first six months. After the first six months, the mother can then start giving the baby other things to eat and drink along with breastfeeding for the next 2 years or thereabout.
Nursing mothers should note that the longer you breastfeed your baby, the healthier they become. Also, the effect of the nutrients they derive from proper breastfeeding will tell on their health and wellbeing later in life.
How Long Do You Breastfeed On Each Breast?
The most important thing is ensuring your baby is comfortable and well fed while breastfeeding. Depending on the child and age, new born for instance may feed for 10-15 minutes on one side while older babies may switch between 5-10 minutes. Babies can however be fed at any time of the day.
How Can I Increase My Breast Milk?
If you have low breast milk supply, you may need lactation promoting herbs or diets that will stimulate your breast to produce more milk.
Lactation promoting herbs include:
Milk thistle; Stinging nettle; Fenugreek seeds;
Alfalfa; Brewer’s yeast; Garlic; Turmeric;
Cumin seed; Sesame seeds; Ginger; Moringa leaves
Lactation promoting foods include:
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Legumes; Eggs; Yogurt; Pawpaw; Oats; Cow milk;
Spinach; Apricots; Salmon; Sweet potatoes; Almond;
Chickpea; Brown rice; Carrots; Spinach; Water
Health Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Mothers
The good news for nursing mothers is that breastfeeding is a win-win for both mother and child. It helps improve mother’s health as well as that of the child. Here are few among the amazing health benefits of breastfeeding to the mother:
*It helps burn calories thus loosing pregnancy weight faster
*It helps reduce uterine bleeding after birth
*It helps lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancer
*It helps reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
*It helps the uterus contract
*It helps reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and arthritis
Health Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Baby
Breast milk is the best food you can give your child from the first day of her life. It is full of all the essential nutrients the baby need even without needing any other substitute. Many thanks to nature; breast milk is the perfect food nature has provided for your baby’s desire.
Here are few among the priceless health benefits of breast milk to the child especially children who are given extensive breastfeeding for the very first six months of their life:
*Breast milk contains lots of antibodies that fights off virus and harmful bacteria
*Breast milk protects the child against allergies
*Breast milk prevents and protects the child against asthma, ear infections, respiratory illnesses, bronchitis, kidney infections, pneumonia and diarrhea
*Breast milk lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome
*Breast milk promotes functional brain development in infants
*Breast milk lowers risk of obesity
*Breast milk helps stimulate proper growth of mouth and jaw in infants
*Breast milk lowers risk of developing type1 and type 2 diabetes
*Breastfeeding helps build relationship between mother and child
*Breast milk help boost baby’s immune system
Nursing mothers should endeavor to give their new born babies exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months for them to be healthier. In addition, nursing mothers should also take good care of themselves by eating more of balance diets, fruits and vegetables because breastfeeding may be challenging but worth it in the end when you see your child being healthy and active.
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