Do you want to breastfeed your baby? Nothing is more natural than breastfeeding! Breast milk is the best food for your child. It provides all the nutrients and antibodies it needs. Breast milk would protect infants from infectious and respiratory diseases and strengthen their immune system. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding until the age of 6 months. Benefits and body preparation, discover all you need to know about breastfeeding.
WHAT IS BREASTFEEDING?
Breastfeeding, is the feeding of babies and young children with milk from the female breast. Health professionals recommend that breastfeeding begins in the first weeks of the baby’s life and continues as often as he or she wants. According to healthcare professionals, breastfeeding has many benefits for mother and baby.
THE COMPOSITION OF BREAST MILK
The composition of breast milk varies during breastfeeding to adapt to the baby’s needs. It can also change according to the mother’s diet. The taste of milk can change, allowing the baby to get used to different flavors.
Breast milk contains over 200 components. It is composed of:
- proteins that are non-allergenic, easy to absorb and easy to digest;
- sugars and fats that provide energy to the baby’s cells;
- vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and iron;
- enzymes that aid digestion of the baby;
- essential fatty acids that may influence the development of brain and vision ;
- antibodies and antimicrobial molecules that help the baby to defend against bacteria and viruses;
- hormones and growth factors that could stimulate the growth and development of the digestive system and the child’s immune system;
- living cells that protect the baby from infections and stimulate their own immune system.
There is no single ideal position for breastfeeding. The important thing is first to be comfortably settled and to feel comfortable. Practice and time will help to find the best positions. The mother should not feel any tension. A stool underfoot and cushions behind the back can help ease tension. A cushion on the knees can also help to settle well with the baby and prevent the mother from having to support the weight of her child for the duration of the feeding.
A good positioning of the baby is a factor of success of breastfeeding because it allows an adequate sucking necessary for a correct feeding. Many difficulties in starting breastfeeding come from a poor positioning of the baby causing inadequate sucking. In a safe position, the baby’s back is resting against the mother’s forearm, his head is movable in the crook of his elbow, his shoulder is in the axis of the ear and hip. The tip of the nose and the tip of the chin are both in equal contact with the breast. When the baby sucks, his chin should be against the breast and the baby should suck the entire areola and nipple firmly. If the baby’s nose is pushed into the breast while the chin is detached, bring the baby’s body closer to you. If the baby’s chin is not touching the breast, raise the baby a little higher.
Check out this great infographic to know more breastfeeding positions:
THE BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING
Wondering if breastfeeding baby has any benefits? The answer is yes! There are many benefits to breastfeeding your toddler. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding for at least six months. But this must remain a real choice! Breastfeeding or not? The decision is up to the mother. The debate between pro-breastfeeding and others is often lively. Some young mothers can feel real pressure when they do not want to breastfeed. And others, who have chosen to breastfeed, do not know who to ask their questions.
Breast milk is a complete food; it contains all the nutrients the baby needs – at least 400 nutrients – including hormones and anti-infective compounds, which cannot be found in milk powders. Its nutritional composition is modified and adapts to the needs of the baby who grows and develops.
The benefits of breastfeeding for the baby’s health
There is a lot of scientific evidence on the benefits of breastfeeding.
- Breastfed babies are less often affected by infections. Their risk of gastrointestinal infections (eg, gastroenteritis and diarrhea ) is significantly reduced compared to babies fed with milk powders.
- Breastfed babies have a lower risk of upper respiratory infection (colds , flu). Breastfeeding also decreases the frequency of bronchiolitis, pneumonia and ear infections.
- Breastfeeding help reduce risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
- Breastfeeding help protect against certain inflammatory diseases, for example:
- Type 1 diabetes,
- Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease,
- For asthma, allergies and hay fever, the protective effect is less clear.
- The majority of studies have noted that breastfed children have better results in intelligence tests . This is an acceleration of cognitive development and the beneficial effect seems to diminish over time.
The benefits of breastfeeding for the mother
- Exclusive and prolonged breastfeeding can help the mother lose weight during pregnancy.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer and perhaps the ovaries.
- Exclusive and prolonged breastfeeding delays the return of menstruation.
Enjoy breastfeeding to continue the healthy diet you followed during your pregnancy. Eat a lot of fiber and whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as foods rich in protein, calcium and iron. Take nutritious snacks such as soy yogurt (normal yoghurt contains lactose and many people are not able to digest lactose properly), toast, baked cheese or fruit. You need to refuel.
Drink plenty of water to promote lactation. Be sure to drink a lot. This will help your body produce the milk you need for your child. Many mothers are very thirsty when they breastfeed, have a glass of water on hand at each feeding.
Need breastfeeding tips and advice? You’re at the right address. Regarding your diet for example, know that contrary to the period of pregnancy, no food is prohibited during breastfeeding. But as in everyday life, don’t abuse good things: avoid excessive sugar and fat. Every day it is recommended to consume about 150 g of meat or fish or protein rich vegetarian meat substitutes. Regarding the calcium intake for your baby, obviously prefer dairy products and derivatives, such as cheese. Be aware that vegetables are also good sources of calcium. To consume without moderation, so that your buttocks benefits through breastfeeding.
HOW TO STOP BREASTFEEDING
Just like the baby, the mother must be able to adapt gently to stopping exclusive breastfeeding. If you want to stop breastfeeding, you must know that the breast remains necessary for the child and the mother for some time, especially to maintain a beautiful intimacy. Stopping breastfeeding is not done overnight. If the child needs to get used to a new diet, you should know that the steps are completed in several weeks, even months.
- Breastfeeding has benefits for the health and development of the baby, but also for the mother.
- Breast milk contains over 200 components. Its composition adapts to the needs of the baby.
- According to official recommendations, babies should be fed exclusively with breast milk until 6 months of age.