Breast milk is considered the perfect food for a newborn, and it should be initiated within the first hour after birth.
Breastfeeding provides essential calories, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to an infant optimal growth. Breastfeeding can both benefit the mother and her child, not just by having a beautiful bond, it has many proven health benefits too.
Every 1st week of August, the World Health Organization observes the World Breastfeeding week and it encourages mothers to breastfeed to improve all the infants’ health.
The ABCs of Breastfeeding
Awareness. Mother’s should watch their baby’s signs of hunger and automatically breastfeed the baby when hungry. It is called “on-demand” feeding. There are times that mothers will be nursing the infant for 8-12 times a day. When a baby is hungry, usually they will move their hands toward their mouths, with lots of sucking noises or mouth movements, or move toward the mother’s breast when held.
Be patient. Mothers need to take time to nurse the baby. Infants will need to be breastfeed for 10-20 minutes on each breast.
Comfort. Mothers should be relaxed while breastfeeding, to allow the milk flow more easily. Use of pillows to support your arms, head, neck and a footrest will give you a more relaxed and comfortable experience during this special time.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
- Breast milk helps keep the baby healthy.
- It supplies necessary nutrients in the proper proportions.
- It protects against allergies, sickness, and obesity.
- It protects against diseases, like diabetes and cancer.
- It protects against infections, like ear infections.
- It is easily digested, no diarrhea constipation, or upset stomach.
- Breastfed babies can score higher on IQ tests.
Deciding to breastfeed an infant is a personal matter for all mothers. Breastfeeding requires a huge commitment especially during the infant’s first months when an infant should be fed often. A breastfeeding schedule should strictly be followed due to the infants demand for their mother’s milk. Medical experts strongly recommend exclusive breastfeeding (no mixture of milk formula) for 6 months since milk digests faster than milk formula.
Mothers are extra careful too on their diet because nutrients taken in can pass on to the baby. Eating the right kind of food is a must for the proper nutrient for her child if a mother is considering breastfeeding.