To Boob or not to Boob
Is Breast Best?
Breast milk is not the only option for mothers, however, experts believe it really is the best for a newborn baby as it is made specifically for them, by you. It not only holds a lot of nutritional value, but breast milk also contains vital vitamins and illness-busting goodness which helps your baby defend against diseases and sickness during those tender first few months of their life.
Allergies are also something which breast milk helps to protect against and this has been proven by statistics as cow's milk or soy fed babies tend to develop a higher rate of allergic reactions in comparison to babies who are breast fed. Many mothers claim that after having a child their own immune system deteriorates, this is purely because you have packed your baby with part of your immunity to hay-fever, colds and other viral infections which otherwise could be detrimental to the health of your baby whilst (s)he is so young.
Although breast feeding is something that is encouraged by midwives, doctors and internet articles almost everywhere, there are cases where breast feeding is simply not an option. Mothers who cannot or do not breast feed are not inferior in any way to those who do, and the transition from babyhood to toddler can be just as fulfilling and healthy without a diet of breast milk. Alternatives to breast milk, from donated milk to formula milk, are becoming increasingly popular and their nutritional values are on the rise thanks to leaps in nutritional science.
One of the key issues to tackle in regards to breast feeding is to relax. A happy mummy makes for a happy baby and this rings true regardless of the task. It is far easier for your baby to latch on when you are in a comfy position. Your favourite armchair, lounging on the couch or even slouching in a massive beanbag will work provided you and baby are comfortable.
In those cases where breast feeding is a no-go, relaxation is still very important. The intimacy between parent and baby during feeding strengthens the bond and gives baby a sense of comfort and security. For a newborn, nothing can beat cuddles and it has even been proven that those who are given lots of affection during their infant years tend to have calmer sleeps and a more mellow approach to others growing up.
Nips and Plucks!
Unfortunately, with breast feeding comes a variety of uncomfortable afflictions which will not fade no matter how relaxed you might be. Many new mums complain of pain during the first few days of breast feeding and the discomfort can lead to high stress levels for both mum and baby. This initial pain is normal as you get used to the new sensation and your baby becomes accustomed to feeding, however if it continues it could mean that your baby is not latching properly. In these cases midwives are always at hand to offer advice and help.
A new parent (and even those who are not so new) can often wonder if their child is getting enough milk. The last thing we want is for our baby to be under nourished and whilst it is difficult to tell ounce for ounce how much milk your baby is getting, there are tell tale signs that show that (s)he is eating well such as listening for those little gulps, checking to see if they dribble milk after eating and of course, seeing if those nappies are being filled regularly. After a few days, a baby tends to wet about six to eight nappies a day if they are feeding well.
Dare to be Different.
For those who decide against breast feeding or simply can't, the alternatives are various and healthy formulas are readily available. Some parents worry about the lack of bonding if they do not breast feed, but as stated before, simply affection and the closeness is enough to enhance that bond between parent and child.
It is all about finding what is right and comfortable for you. Everyone parents differently and there are so many alternative lifestyles that it wouldn't make sense for everyone to start their parenting journey the same. Discover what choices are available to you beforehand since you may find that deviating from the 'norm' is the best for you.