Everything Important About Breastfeeding

Everything Important About Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding means feeding a baby with milk from the breast and this act is regarded as the best food source for infants and publicly recommended as cost-effective means to improve mothers’ and child health. It is helpful in establishing a strong bond between mother and infant.

Breastfeeding milk contains every nutrient needs and assure that newborn infants have got Breastfeedingenough nutrition through breastfeeding for their growth and development of a baby. Breastfeeding must be continued until the baby attains the age of six months, further should be continued with balanced and appropriate complementary food supplements and therefore recommended until two years and beyond. According to WHO (report 2013), increasing the breastfeeding duration and rate can change and improve maternal health and it can reduce infant mortality.

Components and  Functions of components

Breast milk contains 87% water, 7% lactose, 4% Fat, 1% protein, and the remaining 1% other macromolecules.

All these components in breast milk specifically play a very prominent role during the development of a baby.

Lactose and fat, types of carbohydrates,s, and sugar provide the most energy in breast milk.

Fats have a huge role in the normal development and growth of a baby.

Breast milk contains diversified fat that contributes a very specific function besides nourishing the baby. Fat supplies energy but is also helpful in the development of the central nervous system. Fat also gives milk its aroma and taste. As the baby grows day by day breast milk composition changes. Fat concentration increases with a long nourishing session.

About 400+ different types of proteins are found in breastmilk like Whey Protein, Casein and nucleotides are all proteins contained in breast milk that supports and aid in the growth and development of a newborn baby.

The breast milk nutritional content changes as the baby grow to ensure that all the nutrients’ needs are met!

Breastfeeding advantages

  • Help in growth and development.
  • Protect against chronic disease.
  • Protect against conditions like childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, and asthma.
  • Protect against diarrhea and pneumonia, as breast milk contains antibodies.
  • Helps in bonding between mother and baby.
  • Breastfeeding babies have a higher IQ.
  • Decreased risk of allergies.

Advantages of breastfeeding for mother

  • Reduces the chance of bleeding (PPP).
  • Reduces chances of Breast cancer and ovarian cancer in the later stages of life.
  • The workload is deceased.
  • It helps to regain pre-pregnancy weight faster and lowers the rate of obesity.
  • It helps to lower post-partum depression.
  • Breastfeeding is less expensive.
  • Delayed fertility ( 98% effective method for birth control for six months).

Different Types of Breastfeeding Positions

The Cradle positions

    • A mother holds the baby horizontally facing her.
    • Use the right arm to hold the baby during nursing from the right breast.
    • Give support to the breast with the left hand.
    • Make sure that the baby’s lower arm doesn’t get in the way.
    • Ensure that the baby’s head rests on the forearm while supporting his back with the same forearm, and holding his/ her bottom with the hand.

The Transitional Hold Position

    • A mother should hold the baby horizontally facing her.
    • When nursing from the right breast, use the left arm to hold the baby.
    • Support his back with the left forearm, while placing the thumb and fingers at the base of the baby’s head, below his/her ears.
    • Make sure that the baby’s lower arm doesn’t get in the way.
    • Support the breast with the right hand.

The Football Hold Position

    • Hold the baby under the mother’s arm and let him/her face towards the breast.
    • Support the baby with the pillow underneath.
    • Hold the baby close to the mother with the nose pointing to the nipple.
    • Use the forearm to support his/her back and neck, and to hold his head.

(Note: This position is suitable and recommended for mothers who have had Caesarean Section since it doesn’t put pressure on the abdomen.)

Lying Down Position

    • Baby and mother face each other when they are lying.
    • The mother should be in a relaxed condition with no muscles straining while keeping her back and hips in a straight line.
    • The baby needs to be well supported and secure.
    • Adjust the baby’s distance from the lower breast placing a folded blanket under his head.
    • To assist with latch-on, use the opposite hand to support the breast.

Also Read About: Periods (Menstruation): Facts and Statistics

Certain considerations for breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is not recommended, therefore should be avoided under the following conditions:
  • Women have a chronic illnesses.
  • Women have undergone breast surgeries in their lifetime.
  • Women are suffering from an infectious diseases like HIV or having active tuberculosis.
  • In case, the mother takes illegal drugs such as cocaine or marijuana.
  • The baby is found to be galactosemia.
  • Women taking prescribed medication for migraine headaches, arthritis, or Parkinson’s.

Heymann J, Raub A, Easle A. Breastfeeding Policy: A Globally Comparative Analysis – Bulletin of the World Health Organization – 2012; 91:398-406.

Bode L, McGuire M, Rodriguez JM, Geddes DT, Hassiotou F, Hartmann PE, McGuire MK. It’s Alive: Microbes and Cells in Human Milk and Their Potential Benefits to Mother and Infant – Advances in Nutrition. 2014; 5(5):571-573.

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