Benefits and Challenges of Breastfeeding for both Mother and Baby

Benefits and Challenges of Breastfeeding for both Mother and Baby

This article is written to help nursing mothers to know the importance of breastfeeding their newborn babies, to understand when they need you and how to meet their needs as nursing mothers. If the guides provided in this article are followed diligently, will be more useful for the mother that is having or has had his/her first child.

What Is Breastfeeding and How Does It Work?

Breastfeeding refers to the practice of giving your infant breast milk straight from your breast. It’s also known as nursing. It is a personal choice whether or not to breastfeed a child. It’s also one that’ll elicit feedback from friends and relatives.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) both highly urge exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months (no formula, juice, or water). Breastfeeding should be continued after the introduction of other foods for the baby’s first year of life.

Whether your infant prefers little, frequent meals or longer feedings will determine how often you should nurse. As your child grows, this will change. Newborns frequently demand to be fed every 2 to 3 hours. By two months, most newborns are feeding every 3-4 hours, and by six months, most babies are feeding every 4-5 hours.

It is up to you and your baby to decide whether or not to breastfeed.

Signs That Your Child Is Hungry

Crying is one of the most typical methods for your infant to communicate that they are hungry.

Other signals that your infant is hungry include:

  • They’re licking their lips or thrusting their tongue out.
  • Rooting is when someone moves their jaw, mouth, or head to search for your breast.
  • Taking their hand and putting it in their mouth.
  • Their mouths are open.
  • Fussiness.
  • Sucking on items is a bad habit.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

We shall examine the benefits of breastfeeding in two (2) ways as explained below:

1. Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Baby

Breast milk is the best source of nutrients for newborns. It provides an almost ideal balance of vitamins, protein, and fat, giving your baby everything he or she needs to thrive. And it’s all in a form that’s easier to digest than newborn formula. Antibodies in breast milk assist your infant in fighting viruses and bacteria. Breastfeeding reduces your Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Babychild’s chances of developing asthma or allergies. Furthermore, babies who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months, without the use of any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory ailments, and diarrhea episodes. In addition, they had fewer hospitalisations and doctor visits.

Breastfeeding has been related in several studies to higher IQ scores in later life. Furthermore, physical proximity, skin-to-skin contact, and eye contact all aid your baby’s bonding and sense of security. Breastfed babies are more likely to gain the appropriate amount of weight as they develop instead of becoming overweight children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding can help prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). It’s been suggested that it can help prevent diabetes, obesity, and certain malignancies, but more research is needed.

2. Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mothers

Breastfeeding burns extra calories, thus it can help you lose weight faster after your pregnancy. It releases the hormone oxytocin, which aids in the return of your uterus to its pre-pregnancy size and may help to minimize post-partum uterine hemorrhage. Breastfeeding also reduces your chances of developing breast or ovarian cancer. It may also help you avoid osteoporosis.

It saves you time and money because you don’t have to buy and measure formula, sanitize nipples, or reheat bottles. It also allows you to spend quality time with your newborn while bonding.

Some Helpful Tips to know as a Nursing Mother

1. Will You Be Able to Breastfeed if You Make Enough Milk?

Your breasts create perfect “first milk” for the first few days after birth. It’s known as colostrum. Colostrum is thick and yellowish, and there isn’t much of it, but it’s enough to meet your baby’s nutritional requirements. Colostrum aids in the development and preparation of a newborn’s digestive tract for the digestion of breast milk.

Colostrum is the earliest phase of breast milk, and it changes throughout time to provide your kid with the nutrition he or she requires as they grow. Transitional milk is the name for the second phase. You make this as your colostrum is eventually replaced by mature milk, the third phase of breast milk.

A few days after giving birth, you’ll start producing transitional milk. You’ll be producing mature milk 10 to 15 days after giving birth, which will provide your baby with all the nutrition they require.

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In the first 3 to 5 days after delivery, most newborns lose a modest bit of weight. This has nothing to do with breastfeeding.

Your breasts respond by producing more milk as your baby need more milk and nurses. Breastfeeding exclusively (no formula, juice, or water) for 6 months is recommended by experts. Your breasts may produce less milk if you supplement with formula.

Helpful Tips to know as a Nursing MotherEven if you just breastfeed for a few months instead of the recommended six, it’s best to nurse at all. You can start giving solid food at 6 months, but if you want to keep producing milk, you should continue to breastfeed.

2. Is there enough milk for your baby?

Many breastfeeding mothers wonder if their babies are getting enough milk to be healthy. If your baby is getting enough breastmilk, they should be able to do the following:

  1. In the first few days following delivery, they should not lose more than 7% of their birth weight and should appear content for roughly 1-3 hours between feedings.
  2. By the time they are 7-10 days old, they should have wet at least 6 diapers each day with extremely pale or clear pee.
 3. What is the Best Breastfeeding Position?

The optimum position for you and your baby is one in which you and your baby are both comfortable and relaxed, and you are not straining to maintain the position or continue nursing. The following are some popular breastfeeding positions:

  • Position in a cradle. With their entire body facing you, rest the side of your baby’s head in the crook of your elbow. Place your baby’s tummy against your body to ensure that they are completely supported. Your “free” arm can wrap around your baby’s head and neck, or reach through his legs to support his lower back.
  • Position on the football field. To hold your kid like a football, line his back up with your forearm and support his head and neck in your palm. This method is most effective with infants and little babies. It’s also an excellent posture to be in if you’re healing from a cesarean birth and need to protect your belly from your baby’s weight or pressure.
  • Side-lying is a position in which you lie on your side. This position is ideal for in-bed night feedings. If you’re healing from an episiotomy, or incision to expand the vaginal entrance during delivery, side-lying is also a good option. To make yourself more comfortable, place cushions beneath your head. Then, while snuggling close to your infant, lift your breast and nipple into your baby’s mouth with your free hand. Once your baby is properly “latched on,” use your free hand to support the head and neck so you don’t have to twist or strain to continue nursing.
  • Hold in a cross-cradle position. Sit on a comfy chair with armrests and sit upright. Hold your infant in the crook of your opposite arm, facing the breast you’ll be using to feed them. With your hand, support their head. Bring your baby so that your tummies are facing each other across your body. Cup your breasts in a U-shape with your other hand. Don’t lean forward; bring your baby’s mouth to your breast and cradle them close.
  • Lie down in a comfortable position. This role, also known as biological nurturing, is exactly what it sounds like. It’s designed to support your and your baby’s natural nursing instincts. On a couch or bed, lean back but not flat. Make sure your head and shoulders are well supported. Hold your kid in such a way that your complete fronts are in contact. As long as your baby’s cheek rests near your breast, you can put them in any position they want. If your baby is having trouble latching on, assist them.
 4. How to ‘Latch on’ to Your Baby While Breastfeeding

Face your baby so that he or she is comfortable and does not have to twist their neck to feed. Cup your breast with one hand and gently massage your baby’s bottom lip with the other. Your baby’s natural reaction will be to open his or her mouth wide. Bring your mouth closer around your nipple with your hand supporting your baby’s neck, trying to center your nipple in the mouth above the tongue.

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When both lips are pursed outward over your nipple, you know your baby is properly “latched on.” All of your nipple and most of the areola (the darker skin around your nipple) should be in your infant’s mouth. Breastfeeding should not be painful, even if you feel a tiny tingle or tugging. If your baby isn’t properly latched on and nursing in a smooth, pleasant rhythm, gently insert your finger between your baby’s gums to break the suction, then remove your nipple and try again. Sore nipples can be avoided with good “latching on.”

 5. Are there any medical considerations to breastfeeding?

The answer is YES! Breastfeeding may harm a baby in a few circumstances. The following are some of the reasons why you should not breastfeed:

  1. You have been diagnosed with HIV. The HIV virus can be passed from mother to child through breast milk.
  2. You have active tuberculosis that has not been treated.
  3. You are undergoing cancer treatment.
  4. You are abusing a controlled substance like cocaine or marijuana.
  5. Your infant has glucosemia, a rare illness in which the natural sugar galactose found in breast milk is intolerable.
  6. You’re taking prescription meds for migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, or arthritis, for example.

 Furthermore – If you’re taking any prescription medicines, talk to your doctor before starting to breastfeed. Based on your specific prescription, your doctor can assist you in making an informed selection.

You should be able to breastfeed even if you have a cold or the flu. Breast milk will not infect your infant and may potentially provide antibodies to aid in the battle against illness.

Additionally, the AAP recommends that exclusively breastfed newborns and infants who are partially breastfed and get more than half of their daily feedings as human milk be supplemented with oral iron beginning at 4 months of age. This should be done until iron-fortified foods, such as cereals, are introduced into the diet. At the age of one, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children have their iron levels checked.

Consult your pediatrician about iron and vitamin D supplementation. Your doctor may advise you on the right dosages for both you and your baby, as well as when to begin and how often to take the supplements.

Some of the Most Common Breastfeeding Challenges

  1. Some of the Most Common Breastfeeding Challenges
    Close-up Of A Woman’s Hand On Breast Suffering From Pain

    Nipples that hurt. During the first few weeks of nursing, you should expect some soreness. Make sure your baby latches on properly, and after each feeding, use one finger to break the suction in your baby’s mouth. This will aid in the prevention of painful nipples. If your breasts are still uncomfortable, make sure you’re nursing them long enough to clear the milk ducts. Your breasts may get engorged, puffy, and painful if you don’t. Sore nipples can be temporarily relieved by holding ice or a bag of frozen peas against them. It also helps to keep your nipples dry and let them “air dry” between feedings. At first, your baby will suck more actively. So start with the nipple that isn’t as sore.

  2. Nipples that are dry and cracked. Soaps, perfumed creams, and lotions containing alcohol should be avoided because they can make nipples even drier and cracked. After a feeding, you can apply pure lanolin on your nipples, but be sure to wash it off carefully before nursing again. Changing your bra pads on a regular basis will keep your nipples dry. Also, only cotton bra pads should be used.
  3. Concerns about not being able to produce enough milk. A baby that wets six to eight diapers per day is most likely getting enough milk, according to a basic rule of thumb. It’s preferable not to use formula to replace your breast milk, and you should never feed your baby plain water. To keep producing milk, your body requires the frequent, consistent demand of your baby’s nursing. Some women wrongly believe that if their breasts are small, they won’t be able to nurse. Small-breasted women, on the other hand, can produce milk equally as well as large-breasted women. It also helps to eat healthily, get enough rest, and remain hydrated.
  4. Milk storage and pumping Breast milk can be obtained by hand or by using a breast pump. Your kid may need a few days or weeks to adjust to breast milk in a bottle. If you’re going back to work, start practicing as soon as possible. If breast milk is kept in the refrigerator, it can be utilized within two days. Breast milk can be frozen for up to 6 months. Frozen breast milk should not be heated or thawed in the microwave. Some of its immune-boosting properties will be lost, and fatty parts of the breast milk may become extremely heated. Breast milk can be thawed in the refrigerator or in a dish of warm water.
  5. Nipples that are inverted. When you pinch the areola, the black skin around the nipple, an inverted nipple does not poke forward. A lactation consultant, who specializes in breastfeeding instruction, can provide you with advice on how to properly nurse if you have inverted nipples.
  6. Engorgement of the breasts. Breast fullness is a healthy and normal condition. It happens as your breasts fill up with milk and remain soft and malleable. Breast engorgement, on the other hand, indicates that the blood veins in your breast have been clogged. This causes your breasts to become hard, painful, and swollen as a result of the trapped fluid. To ease moderate symptoms, alternate hot and cold treatments, such as ice packs and hot showers. It may also be beneficial to release your milk by yourself or with the aid of a breast pump.
  7. Ducts that are clogged. A single red and hot sore place on your breast could indicate a clogged milk duct. Warm compresses and careful massage over the affected area can often lessen the discomfort. Nursing on a more regular basis can also benefit.
  8. Infection of the breasts (mastitis). Bacteria enter the breast through a cracked nipple after breastfeeding, which can cause this. Call your doctor if you experience a sore spot on your breast, as well as flu-like symptoms, a fever, and exhaustion. Antibiotics are typically required to clean up a breast infection, but you can most likely continue to breastfeed while taking antibiotics. Apply moist heat to the sore area four times a day for 15 to 20 minutes each time to ease breast soreness.
  9. Stress. When you are apprehensive or upset, your let-down reflex can be impeded. Your body’s normal milk ejection into the milk ducts looks like this. It’s caused by hormones released when your baby nurses. Hearing or thinking about your child weeping may also be enough to set it off. Try to remain as relaxed and tranquil as possible before and during nursing. This will make it easier for your milk to flow and let down. This, in turn, can improve your child’s relaxation and tranquillity.

Breastfeeding Advice for New Moms

Breastfeeding Advice for New Moms

There are a few things that can help you become ready for breastfeeding:

  1. Prenatal care should be received on a regular basis to assist you to avoid premature birth.
  2. Tell your doctor that you plan to breastfeed, and inquire about the support that the facility where you will give birth provides to help you breastfeed following the birth.
  3. Consider enrolling in a breastfeeding class.
  4. Request that your doctor connects you with a lactation consultant who can educate you the basics of breastfeeding and assist you if you run into problems.
  5. Consult your doctor if you have any health concerns or are taking any drugs that could interfere with breastfeeding.
  6. Tell your doctor and hospital staff that you wish to start breastfeeding as soon as possible after your baby is born.
  7. Talk to friends who breastfeed or join a breastfeeding support group.
  8. Stock up on the breastfeeding materials you’ll need, including as nursing bras and other accessories.

The ABCs of Breastfeeding are a set of guidelines that will assist you and your baby become more comfortable with the process:

  1. Awareness. Keep an eye out for your baby’s hunger cues and nurse whenever he or she is hungry. This is referred to as “on-demand” feeding. You may need to nurse eight to twelve times per 24 hours in the first few weeks. Hungry babies move their hands toward their mouths, produce sucking noises or mouth movements, or move their bodies toward your breast. Don’t wait for your infant to cry before you intervene. That’s a sign they’re starving.
  2. Patience is required. Breastfeed your kid for as long as he or she wants to nurse each time. Feedings should not be rushed for your baby. Breastfeeding is normally done for 10 to 20 minutes on each breast.
  3. Comfort. This is crucial. Relax during breastfeeding, and your milk will “let down” and flow more easily. Before you start breastfeeding, make yourself comfortable with cushions to support your arms, head, and neck, as well as a footrest to support your feet and legs.
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