The thought of breastfeeding your baby can be a difficult choice to make.
Women usually think of the aftermath of sagging breasts which can sometimes cause one to be body conscious. Our parents have geared us to deciding to breastfeed with their constant talks that can sometimes result to us feeling guilty of not choosing to breastfeed. Choosing to breastfeed your baby is packed with benefits for both of you. You will find that breast milk has nutrients and vitamins that are good for the baby especially in the first six months of their young lives.
Health benefits to the baby of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding helps your kid fight a number of illnesses. According to babycenter; stomach viruses, lower respiratory illnesses, ear infections and meningitis are less common in cases of breastfed babies. Breast milk has compositions that are needed for the individual baby and changes in three stages. The first seven days after birth there is secretion of (lactation stages) colostrum which is rich in protein and has various immunising factors and less contents of fat for the infant. Transitional milk which happens during the day 8 to 20 and finally matured milk which is milk that is produced from day 20 and more days that follow; there are differences in the fat content as the feeding progresses. It provides the immunising factors and other important components needed by the baby at that stage of growth.
Breast milk also has growth factors such as Secretory IgA, Bioactive cytokines and others which are varying in quantities of lactation stages as oppose to formula milk. This helps in guarding against germs that will be harmful in the infant by layering mucous membranes protecting the nose, throat and intestine. You will find that you will be putting your child in lesser risks of developing childhood cancers, and other diseases that might attack later on in life, like type 1 and 2 diabetes.
How to breastfeed
It is important that you try breastfeed as constant as possible so the baby can get used to the process and to encourage production of milk. You can start immediately after birth and this can be done every after 1-2 hours. Ensure you keep a healthy diet while breastfeeding and try be alerted of contaminated food and beverages. Try stay away from alcohol, smoking and caffeine. Visit a doctor to consult on which pain medication you can have during the process.
- Find a comfortable place you will sit on when you breastfeed
- Hold your baby with your baby’s tummy facing yours
- Aim your nipple at the top of the baby’s mouth
- Support your baby’s weight with one hand balancing the body and the other your head
- Let the baby do the rest
- Burp your baby by making them stand up straight with their head over your shoulder and rub him with an open and firm hand
- Know the sleeping and feeding routine
Breastfeeding benefits for the mother
Despite that most women who breastfeed feel they have a greater bond with their babies, there are other benefits such as being able to turn back to your size with the help of breastfeeding by burning your calories. It is simpler for your uterus to return to its pre pregnancy size because of the released oxytocin hormone. You will also be saving money that you would have spent in buying formula milk, bottles and many more things. And finally you will be saving time that you would have wasted in preparing milk and checking if it is the right temperature.
If you are a busy mother you can express your milk with a pump or your hand, store it in a glass or hard plastic container and store it in a fridge for about 5 days. If you choose to keep it in room temperature just know it will be good for consumption within 6 hours of expressing.