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Breastfeeding: All whys and hows answered

Breastfeeding: All whys and hows answered
September 09
09:04 2014

To breastfeed or not to breastfeed every woman, especially when delivering her first baby, struggle with this question. If you are also finding it hard to decide whether you should breastfeed your baby or formula milk will be better for him/her, then reading this post will help you learn almost everything about breastfeeding.

Breast milk is the best, how true it is:

Without a doubt, breast milk is a healthier food for your baby. It is a great way to feed him/her. Breast milk is a complete food. It is rich in almost 400 nutrients, as well as disease fighting compounds and hormones, that formula milk lack. Its nutritional composition even suffices to your baby’s needs as he or she grows.

Relying on breast milk to feed your baby for up to 6 months (exclusive breastfeeding) is especially good for your baby. It can develop your baby’s cognitive development. Therefore, by breastfeeding him/her you could even make him/her more smart.

Babies who are exclusively breastfed since birth also have lesser chances of getting ill in their first year of life. Breastfeeding may assist your baby to keep away illnesses like:

  • Ear infections
  • Bronchiolitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Gastroenteritis

Babies who are breastfed for any duration of time, are also less likely to develop severe eczema as compared to babies who were formula-fed always. Though, saying that exclusive breastfeeding lessens the risk of children ever developing eczema is not possible. There are also chances that breastfeeding hinders when your kid develops eczema, first.

Breastfeeding also assists to make an extraordinary bond between you and your bundle of joy. And in the longer run breastfeeding may assist your baby to remain fit. Studies have also suggested that grown-ups, who were fed with breast milk as babies, when compared with adults who were given formula milk as babies:

  • Had lower blood pressure
  • Had lower cholesterol levels
  • Were less likely to get overweight
  • Were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes

Breastfeeding is beneficial for the moms as well, and may assist to lose weight. In the longer run, it also assists to:

  • Cut down your risk of breast cancer
  • Protect against ovarian cancer before the menopause
  • Cut down your risk of developing type 2 diabetes
For how long you should continue to breastfeed:

According to Department of Health, for the first six months your baby should be offered only breast milk. It also recommends that you should continue breastfeeding even after your baby’s diet includes solid foods, for one complete year and even afterwards, if you would wish to.

Continuing with breast milk while starting solid foods to your baby, may promote his/her immune system. There are also less probabilities of developing health conditions like coeliac disease and type 1 diabetes.

Most mothers aim to give breast milk to their babies for between 3 months and 12 months and some chose to continue feeding breast milk even after the first year. Rest it depends on how you feel about it and what your circumstances are.

How to prepare for breastfeeding:

Keeping healthy is the best you can do in order to prepare your body for breastfeeding.

How to start breastfeeding:
  • Feeds can take from few minutes to an hour, so chose a contented place before you begin.
  • If you get easily disturbed by noise, then finding a quiet place is important. In addition, if you easily get bored then you can feed with the music or TV on, but only if breastfeeding is going properly.
  • Hold your baby in a way that is comfortable for you as well as your baby. You can take support of pillows or cushions for additional support. You can try laid back breastfeeding or cradle hold, depending on the one you feel most comfortable in.
  • Before you start feeding, decide a comfortable position for you and your baby. Concentrate how your breasts feel when feeding your baby. He/she should get a firm grip.
  • If your breasts are big, lying on your side when feeding your baby, may feel comfortable. Or you can try to hold your baby under your arm.
  • If breastfeeding hurts, then you can break the session by softly putting your pinky finger between gums of your baby and your nipple and try one more time. Once your baby gets a nice grip, he or she will be able to manage the rest.
Is breastfeeding easy:

How easily you get adjusted to breastfeeding depends completely on you and your new born. Some women take to breastfeeding simply, while some find it hard to start. So, if the difficulties are discouraging you, then worry not, you will gradually learn, as, it is a process that you and your baby have to learn from scratch. Give yourself and the baby some time. You can also consult your doctor; he or she will suggest ways to make it simpler.  Just make sure that you don’t decide to give up on breastfeeding because you are finding it hard, always remember its benefits for you and your baby.

Can you breastfeed in public:

Some women feel shy about breastfeeding in public. But there is nothing to be shy about, you have all the rights to feed your baby and most importantly always keep your baby as your first priority.  When going out you can intentionally wear tops that allow you to breastfeed secretly. You can also wear stretchy tops. You can drape a scarf if you feel uncomfortable or shy. This will give you and your baby isolation but ensure your baby can easily breathe.

Things to buy for breastfeeding:
  • Buy at least 2 or 3 comfortable nursing or breastfeeding bras in order to support your breasts properly.
  • Breasts have a tendency to leak, so keep a stock of disposable or washable breast pads
  • A breast pump if you are planning to express your breast milk.

So, if you are already breastfeeding your baby, then you are doing the right thing for you and your baby. However, if you are finding it hard to breastfeed due to any reason, then consulting your doctor is highly advised.

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