Breastfeeding will give your baby the advantage of receiving all the essential nutrients he or she needs from a natural resource that is easy for baby to digest. During breastfeeding, you not only provide the precise natural blend of nutrients your baby needs, but it also is a very special time where you can build an intimate, loving bond between you and your baby through touch, smell and vision.
While breastfeeding does not come naturally to everyone and may take a little while to get it right especially when you first start, it is well worth the effort as the benefits far outweigh any initial difficulties you may experience.
Colostrum – Baby’s First Milk
It is very important to breastfeed your baby as soon as you can after giving birth as at this time most babies are alert and want to suckle. With breast milk baby’s growth will be ensured, and your baby receives the necessary colostrum that you can provide naturally through breastfeeding.
During pregnancy your body will naturally produce colostrum, this is known as baby’s first milk. Colostrum is a thick, rich, yellowish fluid that helps protect your baby against infections. It has a mild laxative effect to assist baby to pass his/her first stool (meconium). This clears the excess waste-product of red blood cells called bilirubin, from the baby’s body and helps prevent jaundice.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Your Baby
With Average Breastfed Baby Weight Gain chances will increase much. It can be the best possible start in life, and it has all the nourishment your baby needs. Breast milk helps to protect your baby from getting infections and diseases such as urinary tract infections, gastrointestinal infections e.g. diarrhea, respiratory conditions e.g. asthma, some childhood cancers. It also minimizes the risk of your baby developing allergies and food intolerances. Each time you breastfeed, your breast milk changes. When you start feeding you produce milk known as fore-milk, this milk is bluish and contains lactose and proteins, but little fat.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for You
Breastfeeding helps you recover from childbirth more quickly. When you breastfeed the baby for the first time your uterus contracts, and this will help return it to pre-pregnant condition sooner. Breastfeeding can also reduce bleeding after childbirth.
During pregnancy, fat is accumulated and is used to produce milk. Evidence suggests that breastfeeding for at least six months can help mothers to lose weight. However as not all women are the same, a healthy diet and regular exercise are a more reliable way of losing weight. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of ovarian cancer, premenopausal breast cancer, and osteoporosis and for mothers with gestational diabetes reduces the risk of developing two diabetes.
Other Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is convenient with no need to sterilize bottles and prepare formula. It is easy to take the baby out on trips and not have to worry about packing a bag with formula and bottles.
It is easier to feed on demand as your breast milk is available instantly and is always at the correct temperature. For night feeds it is less disruptive to your routine to simply breastfeed your baby. Your partner can be included in the process by changing the baby and bringing him or her to you to nurse.