is the optimal and the most effective way of nurturing an infant while simultaneously
benefiting the lactating mother. Breast milk, with its over 100 nutrients, provides
infants with an increased immunity against respiratory, ear and urinary tract
infections while the proteins in breast milk endorse brain and nervous system
development which help in improving intelligence. Breast milk improves vaccine
effectiveness and decreases the incidence of cavities. Breastfeeding provides
better mouth and jaw development of the infant. Mothers also benefit from nursing.
The hormones prolactin and oxytocin, which make and release the milk, relaxs the
mother and helps in forming a loving bond with their baby. The hormones released
when the infant sucks at the breast helps the uterus return more quickly to its
normal size. Nursing-women lose weight without dieting, since 800 calories a day
are utilized in the production of milk. Breast milk is the ultimate convenience
food, always ready to serve, warm, sterile, and of course free of cost.
Breastfeeding benefits babies because it decreases the
occurrence and/or severity of:
- Ear infections
- Bacteremia (bacteria in the bloodstream)
- Bacterial meningitis
- Allergic diseases
chronic digestive diseases
the course of infant botulism
benefits mothers because it:
- Reduces postpartum bleeding
the uterus get back in shape faster
- Aids in birth control
- May reduce the risk of osteoporosis,
ovarian cancer and pre-menopausal breast
- Reduces parental time away from
work due to child illness
so many benefits of breastfeeding many women give up breastfeeding and choose
not to nurse the infant. The reason behind this is lack of knowledge and guidance.
Sometimes the reason is that the mother is unable to produce enough milk to support
the infant. She may be not backed up by family and friends in her desire to nurse
and might not have any guidance while she is attempting to learn. Breastfeeding
though is natural; it is a skill that has to be learned and experienced together
by the mother and baby. Both have to help each other and coordinate their efforts
with patience and gentleness. For some, the skills come easily, while for many
the process can take several days or weeks until feedings proceed with ease and
your baby's 'sign language'
For a new mother it is difficult to ascertain when the baby is hungry, while she
shouldn't wait for her baby to cry before offering to nurse. To avoid nursing
time distress, here are a few tips that will help a new mother to breastfeed whenever
her newborn displays the following signs of hunger:
- Sucking on the tongue or lips
- Moving the arms and
hands toward the mouth
or fidgeting during sleep
the head from side to side
the baby has finished nursing she will fall asleep, relax the body, open her fists
and relax her forehead. Responding quickly to signs of hunger of your baby will
help the child feel safe and will foster a trusting mother-child relationship.
Good positioning is vital For breast milk to flow smoothly and properly,
your baby needs to be in a good "latch-on" position. This means that the baby's
gums can squeeze the lactiferous sinuses located just beneath the areola, or dark
area around the nipple, allowing the stored milk to flow smoothly.
positioning, such as "tummy to tummy," helps encourages good latch-on. For this
position, cradle your infant close to you; with her or his head in the bend of
you arm and the baby's mouth should be in line with your nipple. Ear, shoulder
and hip should be in a straight line.
Following are good
latch-on positions if you see the following:
- The nipple plus about an inch of the areola is in
the baby's mouth and her or his nose and chin is touching your breast.
baby's lips are turned out, not tucked in.
baby's tongue is visible under your breast when you gently pull her or his bottom
- You'll know your milk
is flowing if you hear your baby swallow or see milk dribbling out of her mouth
or milk leaking from your other breast.
your breastfeeding is going on well then you will see the signs in your baby within
a few days. Your baby will feed at least 7 times a day. She will have yellowish
stools 4 times in a day and her urine will be clear in colour. Within weeks you
will see her gaining weight.