Before you begin the process of breast-feeding it’s extremely important to do a reasonable amount of reading on the subject itself. Preparing to breast-feed and ensuring that you are prepared for the challenges of breast-feeding is important.
Ultimately breast-feeding is going to be responsible for nourishing your baby even if you plan on using some formula or vitamins. The World Health Organization often recommends exclusively breast-feeding a child for at least six months and continuing to breast-feed for as long as two years with food. Parents also need to be somewhat prepared for the challenges of breast-feeding, it can be extremely difficult especially making sure that a woman’s body can continue to produce quality milk and to make sure that the mother and her milk are available to the infant through the entire breast-feeding process. The process can be a magical bonding experience between mother and child however and with a bit of information on the process of breast-feeding as well as the effects that health changes and dietary changes can have on the quality of milk, it is possible for women to feel more confident and more well-informed on breastfeeding as they go into the process with their own child.
In this article we will detail some of the top facts that many new moms don’t know about health or breastfeeding. Here are some top strategies that can be used to improve the process of breastfeeding, the quality of milk and more:
Start as early as possible: In order for a baby to be sustained with all of the energy that they need to grow it’s extremely important that children are well versed with the idea of nursing quite early on. Many lactation experts in birthing experts often try to get a baby breast-feeding within the first hour after birth. The ideal breast-feeding early on can help a baby to maintain a steady temperature as well as help to normalize its breathing and heart rate. After all a baby has been inside of the mother for its entire existence and being close to mom again can really help to calm them down in their earliest hours. Nursing in the first hour can actually also help to stimulate hormones that can be found in the mom’s uterus during elevated periods of stress such as a birth. The milk will begin to come in and this type of thicker milk that is rich with hormones often has extra immunities and nutrients which are designed to help babies in their earliest moments of life.
Supplementing is okay and recommended: It can be very difficult to eat a balanced diet is a brand-new mom and many first-time mothers are extremely skeptical about the idea of supplementing with their breast milk. It’s very important for a baby of feed well in the beginning and to build up immunities so having a formula with extra nutrition can really help a child to start off in the healthiest possible condition. Breast-feeding can continue to be challenging but through several weeks it becomes much easier especially as nutrition is adjusted.
It can be exhausting and somewhat painful: When your baby first latches on it can be extremely painful and this pain often doesn’t go away as babies will often need to twist and really pinch at the tip of the nipple to actually latch on regularly. During the nursing stages and in the early stages of life a baby will definitely want to continue nursing almost 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The demand will be high but the supply may not always be there so it’s extremely important that you keep eating a great diet and if you have the milk available, pump it out for times where you will not be able to produce milk when your infant is very hungry. If you regularly experience pain for over a minute with breast-feeding this could be part of a bad latch in the way the baby’s mouth is positioned on the nipple. Speaking with a lactation consultant can help with improving latching.
Your breastmilk is going to change: based off of your diet and in the needs of the baby your breastmilk is going to change. During the course of any feeding milk usually starts out thicker and can turn into a thinner milk as a baby continues to feed. Very important for moms to make sure that babies get access to the thicker and more nutritious milk as well as the lighter colored milk as well. These types of milk will carry different types of nutrients and often deliver anti-bodies at the right time when your child needs them. Somehow a woman’s body is biologically wired to make this change in milk in order to support their child.
It has been shown to have life changing effects: breast-feeding is determined by the World Health Organization can actually save lives. In a study completed by the World Health Organization was estimated that if every baby on earth was fed for at least six months and then breast-fed with food and supplements up until the age of two, around 800,000 babies would have received the immunities that they required to beat a number of conditions. Breastmilk provides not only nutrition to help a baby grow but it delivers a number of benefits when it comes to preventing ear infections, respiratory illnesses, diseases as well as the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
It can prevent obesity: childhood obesity continues to be on the rise and this can actually start in infancy. Breast-feeding can help your child to have the right level of nutrition for a healthy metabolism early on. Breast-fed babies and exclusively formula fed babies often have changes in the way to their pancreas works. Although there are no large-scale studies on the advanced correlation between breast-feeding and childhood obesity, the changes in pancreatic function can improve metabolism rates which may indeed help children prevent childhood obesity.
There are big benefits for moms: breast-feeding actually have some big benefits for moms because it helps to release hormones that can reduce postpartum bleeding, reduce the chance of contracting breast cancer, lower the risk of getting type II diabetes as well as osteoporosis and greatly reduce the chance for postpartum depression through the bonding experience with a new baby. As another added benefit many mothers also don’t have their period as they are breastfeeding. This does however often lead to questions with birth control. It is possible to get pregnant again even without having your period and breastfeeding so you may want to consider speaking to doctors about birth control method like condoms or copper IUD’s which will not affect breast milk health or volume and prevent you from getting pregnant again while breastfeeding.
It can be an exhausting process: nursing can often leave you feeling mother and child extremely sleepy. Many moms often take this time to take a nap as well but it isn’t always because of the exhaustion during the constant nursing process. Nursing a baby can actually release Oxytocin after the breast-feeding process that can really relax a mother and protect her body by making sure she is able to sleep and recover the milk.
Keeping on the diet can be rough: you can enjoy a little bit of flexibility with your diet but ultimately you’re going to be stuck on a diet that’s fairly restrictive. Keep in mind that any substances you put into your body will likely find its way into breast milk. This especially goes for alcohol. If you feel any effect from alcohol at all it’s always advisable to consider dumping your breast milk because you will likely pass the same effects onto your baby which can be very dangerous. One of the most important elements of any lactation diet is tracking your water intake. Making sure that you get at least 9 to 10 cups of water every day will help to make sure that your body is hydrated and that your baby can also be hydrated through the milk. Getting great proteins in your diet with items like oatmeal, ginger and lean meats can be a fantastic way to pass along lots of great growth enhancing tools for your child.
When in doubt ask for a referral to a lactation expert: Your doctor can provide you with some tips for lactation but there are specialists available in the medical world that actually assist with the process of changing your diet, improving lactation, managing the health of your baby through breast milk as well as improving feeding technique and latching. Consulting with one of these experts is often the best ways to improve the lactation process, improve your comfort and improve the health of your baby if you’re going to be breast-feeding.
Keep some of these top tips in mind if you are planning on breast-feeding as a new parent or an expectant parent. Remember that breast-feeding can be a challenge but the immunities and health benefits that you can pass along to a child are well worth the extra effort.
- 10 Things All New Parents Should Know – PhD in Parenting.” PhD in Parenting. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2017.
- “15 Things They Don’t Tell You About Breastfeeding.” Scary Mommy. N.p., 07 Nov. 2016. Web. 21 May 2017.
- “10 Things New Moms Don’t Know About Breastfeeding.” Fit Pregnancy and Baby. Fit Pregnancy and Baby, 25 Sept. 2015. Web. 22 May 2017.
- Williams, Lilee. “15 Things New Moms Don’t Know About Breastfeeding.” BabyGaga. N.p., 25 Jan. 2017. Web. 21 May 2017.