The Many Benefits of Breast Feeding
The benefits of breast feeding are well known and this is why it's
recommended by most doctors and maternity hospitals. Breast milk
contains the ideal balance of nutrients to ensure your baby the best
start in life. It also contains antibodies that protect baby's
delicate immune system against respiratory infections, ear
infections and allergies.
There's benefits for mum too! Breast feeding develops a close
bond between a mum and her baby. There's no more washing and
sterilizing bottles or mixing formula. Formula is quite expensive,
so you'll save quite a bit of money over the months.
Health benefits include possible protection against breast cancer
in later life, it helps your uterus contract back to normal size
faster and it delays the return of your period.
Disadvantages of breast feeding?
It's not for everyone. If your health is poor or you're infected
with HIV or have had tuberculosis (TB) it would be safer for you and
baby to bottle feed.
If you're having trouble getting baby to take the breast or your
milk dries up, again bottle feeding may be the best option. It's
fine to keep trying to offer the breast but if your baby's not
thriving or isn't gaining weight then switch to the bottle. Bottle
feeding is a healthy option with today's advanced formulas so don't
beat yourself up if you can't master the art of breast feeding.
Breast feeding does need a fair bit of patience. It also means
there are some foods you may not be able to eat as they can upset
your baby's digestion, also taking drugs -- even prescription drugs
-- may not be possible. Smoking and alcohol are definitely out. And
if you don't feel like getting up to feed your baby during the
night, well you don't have a choice. Even the best meaning dads
don't have the necessary equipment!
you don't think you could cope with any of the above, bottle feeding
will be best for you.
How to begin breastfeeding
There are several ways to hold your baby while nursing, you can
put your baby's head in the crook of your arm while supporting his
body with your arm and hand. Your baby will be positioned sideways
facing the breast -- this is called the cradle position.
For small babies, the football position (yes really!) may
be a better option. Tuck your baby under your arm while using your
forearm to support his body.
You'll be sitting up in the above two positions. If you'd prefer
to lie down, use a pillow to support your head and have baby facing
you. It's important that both you and baby feel comfortable during
the process so just do what feels right. Just make sure that your
baby can reach your breast easily and doesn't have to strain his
Breast feeding with implants
A lot of women worry that they won't be able to breastfeed their
baby because they have had breast implants. In fact it shouldn't
make any difference. In the days of silicone implants, there was
concern that the silicone may leak out of the implant and pose a
risk of poisoning. Nowadays saline implants are used which pose no
risk at all.
Breast feeding and work
The reality is these days that most new mums will have to return
to work so the problem becomes how to go on breastfeeding when you
may not see your baby for 10 hours at a time during the day.
It's possible to express breast milk using a breast pump and
place this in containers in the fridge so your baby's carer can use
it during the day. While this solution isn't ideal, it is a way
around the problem and you can continue to feed normally in the
morning, evenings and weekends. Breast pumps can be manual or electric and are fairly easy to
use. They are also useful for maintaining or increasing your milk
Stopping breast feeding
This is best done gradually as stopping all at once may cause
emotional trauma for your baby. Sometimes your baby may wean himself
off the breast, however it's more common for a baby to want to
continue breast feeding.
What to eat while breast feeding
You don't need to eat for two but ensure you have a balanced diet
with plenty of calcium for baby's bones and teeth. Calcium is found
in most dairy foods and also in broccoli, kale, sardines, tofu, and
If you can maintain breast feeding for at least six months, you
will be giving your baby a great start in life.
from breast feeding to home