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The Whys And Hows Of Breastfeeding

Updated on August 25, 2016

Breastfeeding was not an option for me, however for the many single mothers who do have that option, consider that researchers, pediatrician and yes even the FDA encourages breastfeeding. They maintain, it is best for baby. The perks of breastfeeding are endless, both mother and baby gain. Yet, breastfeeding is difficult for many mothers, a little more so for single mothers who are often stressed by the lone status of caring for baby. But, the mechanics of breastfeeding can be trouble-free in a calm and loving environment.

Why Mother Should Breastfeed

A new mother after reading the pamphlet on breastfeeding rehearses in her mind that it keeps her weight down. She appreciates that cancerous tissues in the uterine, ovary and breast disperse as she continues to breastfeed. This means that she is at a low risk for cancers in these areas. It was a surprise to her that her fertility is low, so she smiles at the “natural contraceptive” abilities of breastfeeding. Of course, a new mother who opts to breastfeed is overjoyed to learn that hormones, uterus, and calories are controlled by breastfeeding. Calories are burned faster, uterus shrink quicker, and the oxytocin hormone reduces stress the more she breastfeeds. She is delighted as she realizes that she will save money given that there is less demand for infant formula. The greatest joy of breastfeeding for her is time. There will be less time spent on mixing formula, washing and sterilizing bottles.

Why Baby Should Have Mother’s Milk

As baby suckles on mother’s breast, baby enjoys special bonding time and receives “antibodies”. These antibodies strengthen baby’s immune system. Baby is less likely to have ear and respiratory infections. Baby’s brain power is enhanced with high levels of docosahezaenoic acid (DHA) in breast milk. Here are a number of bonuses baby will enjoy when suckling mother’s breast: good digestive system, few allergies, less chance of having eczema, no excessive weight gain, low risk of diabetes and cancer. Not impressed by the previous list consider this one: low risk of pneumonia, spinal meningitis, liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, appendicitis, better facial structure, and low risk of infant death syndrome (SIDS). To fully enjoy these rewards experts recommend that baby feed on breast milk for 6 to 12 months.

Breast Milk Content

Milk from mother is packed with nutrients to keep baby happy and healthy. Mother’s milk has brain food otherwise known as omega-3 fatty acids. As baby suckles the breast he will enjoy taurine, a type of protein exclusive to mother’s milk. Baby will get appropriately 30% more lactose than cow’s milk, and will have all the vitamins and minerals essential to healthy growth and development. To fight off infections and illness mother’s milk supplies baby, with what experts call, “immune system boosters”. There is in opposition one harmful aspect of mother’s milk, it is called Galactosemia. This is baby’s negative reaction to the lactose in mother’s milk. This disorder prevents breastfeeding for both mother and baby.

A Decision

It is official, you will breastfeed. As you begin to breastfeed start changing your nutrient intake. While new mother breastfeeds, she must consume over 800 calories per day. Within this daily calorie intake, a new mother should ingest more vitamins A, C, zinc and niacin. This means that mother should get a generous portion of carbohydrate, grains, fruits and proteins. Eating of healthy fatty foods, such as avocado will help meet the nutrition to sustain both mother and baby. When you work towards the required calories and nutrient be mindful that spicy foods, caffeine, daisy product and other harsh foods can upset baby on every level. Since you will breastfeed, the first step is to consult with your physician, who, will provide some additional prenatal vitamins and a list of most have foods. Your doctor will also supply a list of “don’ts”, such as no alcohol, cigarettes or any other toxic foods.

The secret to successful breastfeeding is staying calm. Remaining calm allows for clearer thinking and eventually a smooth transition to a feeding machine. If you are tense and upset when attempting to breastfeed, baby will have negative association to the breast and will reject it. Stay calm as you follow these suggestions for your first attempt at breastfeeding.

  1. At the beginning stage of breastfeeding, you and baby should be topless. You want baby to feel only your flesh against his as he feeds. With a pillow on your lap, place baby so that his neck rests above the lower arm, his body extends so that his bottom is in your hand. This is called cradling. Cradle baby forward so that he faces your breast and as you bring him closer to the nipples, use the pillow for support and leverage. Make use of as many pillows as needed to bring baby directly in contact with the nipple.
  2. In the above cradle position make sure to adjust baby’s arm so that he is drawn closer to your nipple. To create a comfortable environment, move his arm downward. Monitor his other arm to ensure it does not get in the way of feeding.
  3. Secure baby to you by pulling his tummy close to you.
  4. Hold your breast with your fingers and thumb, as you would a cigarette, to hold the breast in place. To entice baby, gently rub your nipple against baby’s lips to encourage him to “latch” onto your nipples and darker area of your nipple. Keep supporting the beast until baby grabs your breast with his month. Subject to the baby’s hunger level, you might have to move his lips apart to help him accept the breast.
  5. When baby opens wide, to get baby to latch onto your nipple as well as the areola, place the breast in the middle area of his month. This positioning of the breast requires a rapid upward placement of the breast. Experts call this motion “RAM”, rapid arm movement.
  6. The cradle position may not be an option for a mother who had a cesarean birth. If this is the case then mother and baby should breastfeed in a reclined sideways position. Place as many pillows as needed at head, back and under top leg of your body. Place pillow behind baby remembering to bring him as close to the nipple as possible. Then follow above recommendations 2 through 5.

At first, mother and baby will encounter breastfeeding challenges. Baby has yet to learn the correct latch-on method and gnaws at the nipple causing it to chink. Or, when feeding baby’s lips pinches mother’s nipple. If and when this occurs remember to keep calm and as you and baby learn the best breastfeeding practice, talk baby throughout the process. When diapers are changed more than seven times a day and when there are brownish-yellow bowel movements after at least two feedings, you will know that breastfeeding is a success and baby is feeding. Happy feeding.

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