Why breast is best …Benefits for baby and mom

May 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Tips

In the early days with a new baby, a new mother will often feel a bit daunted by the idea of breast feeding, and may struggle with the decision over when to use the bottle and when to use the breast. As the saying goes, “breast is best”. This is true in that there are more natural nutrients in breast milk than will ever be found in bottled formula, and it enables the baby to grow up in better health than would otherwise be possible. There is, it goes without saying, some drawback to this. But there are drawbacks to everything, and it is how you address them that is really important.

A baby will require feeding at regular intervals, and for a mother who is breast feeding this can present a few interesting challenges. For one, there is always the concern of whether the baby will need to be fed while you are out for one reason or another. Breast feeding in public is still frowned upon by many, and in some places you will be asked to leave if you do it. This limits where you can go and what you can do, and although you can express breast milk to be served from a bottle, this affects the temperature.

Additionally, some mothers feel that breast feeding causes unreasonable pain in the nipples. Expressing milk is a partial answer to this, but achieving the right temperature is only part of the problem there. Some people feel that feeding directly from the breast is the only way to establish the closeness that a mother and baby should have – anything less and you will have to deal with people asking you why you are not doing it, and regardless of your reasons they will keep doing so.

Breast feeding – Benefits

The mother has to be keen on hygiene practices and these days you get clothes that encourage breastfeeding. You can tailor few dresses to support feeding when you are out of home. This will not be embarrassing too. The kurta or tops can have zibs on both sides of the chest. A pattern to overlap the area can be well thought of.

Benefits for Baby

  • Breast milk is natural and readily available. Breast milk is custom made, the perfect nutrition, and therefore the best food for your baby.  Your baby can easily digest and absorb the nutrients because of its chemical makeup.
  • The antibodies found in breast milk help to fight many infections, including: respiratory, urinary tract, ear, and blood infections. Breast milk improves your child’s immune system.
  • Breast milk helps to prevent food allergies and sensitivities.
  • Breastfed babies are almost never constipated. They rarely have diarrhea or gas.
  • Breastfeeding encourages better, jaw, tooth and palate development because nursing requires more effort than sucking on a bottle. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to get cavities later in childhood.
  • Breast milk helps to prevent jaundice.
  • Breastfeeding appears to increase a child’s IQ.
  • Ensure you give the breast milk from the initial stage itself. It is very healthy and should not be wasted. The initial milk produced is often referred to as colostrum, which coats the gastrointestinal tract. This helps to protect the newborn until its own immune system is functioning properly, and creates a mild laxative effect, expelling meconium and helping to prevent the build-up of bilirubin (a contributory factor in jaundice).

Benefits for Mom

  • Breastfeeding helps to return your uterus to its normal size and it uses up fat stores.
  • Breastfeeding burns calories and helps mom to lose weight and get back into shape.
  • Breastfeeding is convenient. There is no mixing, measuring, and cleaning. There is no advanced planning or packing.
  • Breastfeeding is economical since there are no bottles, nipples, or formula to buy. And half-emptied bottles or opened cans of formula are never wasted.
  • There is less odor in baby’s spit up and bowel movements.
  • When mom breastfeeds, she experiences a decreased risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis.
  • Breastfeeding protects iron stores because it suppresses ovulation and menstruation. But do not depend upon this factor for birth control.

Have a great bond together…

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