“While Breastfeeding may not seem the right choice for every parent, it is the Best choice for every Baby” – Amy Spangler.
A newborn baby has only three demands. The warmth felt while being nestled in the mother’s arm…life sustaining liquid food in the form of mother’s milk and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all these three needs. One must realize that a mother’s feed is anytime better than a baby formula, however tall the claims may be and the thirty years of technology cannot replace or surpass the three million years of nature’s evolution.
Scientific literature has concrete evidence that exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a life cut down under-five child mortality by 13-15%. There cannot be more compelling reasons for breastfeeding the baby.
Apart from all the benefits to the baby in the form of rich nourishment and total protection through a tough immune system, there is a package of benefits to the nursing mothers as well.
• Reduces the risk of ovarian cancer
• Increases post-partum weight loss
• Reduces risk of breast cancer
• Prolongs lactational Amenorrhea
• Reduces cardiovascular risk
• Decreases Visceral Adiposity
• Reduces type 2 diabetes risk
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
It is quite difficult to list out all the properties and ingredients of mother’s milk. But it has been found that the nutrient content is consistently maintained. It includes the nutrients in the mother’s bloodstream along with the bodily stores. It contains an optimal balance of proteins, sugar, water and fat required for a baby’s growth and development. It also enhances biochemical reactions in the infant allowing the hormones, enzymes, growth factors and immune system to defend against infections. The polyunsaturated fatty acids in the milk help in normal neural and retinal development. Lactation involves usage of 500 calories per day which helps the mother to lose weight after delivery.
The first milk produced during the first few days of childbirth is called colostrum. It is more concentrated and easy to digest than mature milk. Its laxative property allows easy bowel movements, thus preventing Jaundice in the infant by expelling excess bilirubin through the stools. It also seals the gastrointestinal tract from foreign substances which may be passed on from sensitive food that the mother might have consumed.
REMINDERS TO LACTATING MOTHERS:
•Alcoholic beverages and smoking can be avoided during this period to avoid subjecting the infant to potential risks however minimal they may seem.
•Confer with lactation consultants for necessary advice and support in case of uncertainties.
•Nursing mothers should start nursing typically within one hour of birth. Skin to skin contact also called Kangaroo care should be established to make subsequent feeding significantly easier.
•Be aware of the Baby’s feeding intervals and quantity required as per the infant’s stomach capacity.
•Try different positions and find out the preference to a particular position to avoid ineffective feeding which could lead to infant health concerns.
Remember moms, “Breastfeeding isn’t just about Milk…It’s also about Love”