Best Practices for Breastfeeding Mothers.
Breast milk is the basic and primary source of nutrition for newborn babies before they get exposed to water, processed milk, and other food sources. This is so because infants have a very fragile system that cannot digest certain food at that tender stage. Although, kids still get to suckle their mother’s breast even after 20 months. They take in solid food and still feed on their mother’s breast milk for that long period of time.
Breast milk which is fed to infants after birth is produced by the mammary glands. This natural first nutritious diet fed to babies in the early months of their life helps to supply energy, nutrients, and other nutritional benefits needed by the body for the period of time, usually a year, a year and a half, or as best desired by the lactating mothers.
While breast milk provides nutritional benefits to babies, it also helps in promoting sensory and cognitive development. It protects babies from certain diseases and infections. Research shows that mothers who get involved in the exclusive practice of breastfeeding protect their child through breastfeeding from common illness that usually attacks babies, such as cold(pneumonia), and or diarrhea. It helps to build immunity against the certain attack of diseases.
There is also speculation that exclusive breastfeeding helps to enhance children’s intelligence quotient and mental alertness. Breastfeeding is a natural way of feeding which mothers of newborn babies learn to feed their baby’s and also stay healthy themselves. This natural and learned practice helps to promote the health and overall well being of breastfeeding mothers.
The milk content or volume of the milk produced by the mammary gland increases and causes the heaviness of the breast. Feeding the babies with this nutritious content helps to reduce the weight on the breast, promotes birth spacing. It reduces the risks of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and enhances family resources.
The practice of breastfeeding knows as the exclusive breastfeeding deals with feeding the new babe with only breast milk for six months after which the baby can now be given water and other kinds of food like Pap, pasteurized milk, and other liquid food. It is a way of giving ideal food to the infant for good healthy growth and development. However, it is usually a process that requires the mother to learn how to breastfeed and stay for a length of time doing so.
Baby-friendly which is also known as exclusive breastfeeding was launched by the Who and Unicef, in the year 1992, to provide support and strength to this maternity practice. According to these health institutions Who and UNICEF, they recommend that mothers who are into exclusive breastfeeding should do the following :
1. Initiate breastfeeding in the first hour of childbirth.
2. Mothers should only feed infants with breast mild for the time designed. Therefore, no complimentary food or drink should be given(water should not be given too).
3. The infant should be fed with breast milk as often as required on a daily basis.
4. The process of breastfeeding should be done naturally and not with pacifiers, bottles, or teats.
Getting to successfully engage in this breastfeeding practice, mothers are required to do the following things listed below, since breastfeeding can lead to breast pain, milk production, and latching.
1. Build Your Supply.
Allow your new baby to get used to breastfeeding. Feeding materials like pacifiers, teats, and bottles should not be introduced. Let your baby fully get used to your breast for the time being. You should build your milk supply and allow your baby to frequently get fed from your breast milk. This can be done by switching between the pair of your breast so that the milk produced will be properly fed to the baby.
2. Master Your Latch.
Mastering your latch can help you avoid the pains and milk supply problems that come with breastfeeding your newborn baby. The flow of breast milk is usually as a result of the proper latching of the nipple and breast tissue by your child. You should position your body in a way the child suckles your breast and allow the flow of the milk from the mammary gland.
3. Have a Good Time for Yourself.
The periods of pregnancy and postpartum is usually one that involves body metamorphosis and stress. To stay in the right state of health during this period, you should take some time to relax and have a quick sleep, especially when the baby is sleeping or when your family is around taking care of the child. In as much as breastfeeding requires closeness between child and mother, it is ideal that you take care of your self take a good bath while following the best breastfeeding practices.
Do well to wash your breast and nipples with warm water to remove dirt and also clear the duct from any obstruction. Always ensure you are hydrated to avoid cracking of the nipples.
4. Always Be Well Nourished.
The quality and type of food you eat during pregnancy and at postpartum periods have great benefits to your baby, yourself, and also to the quality and quantity of milk your mammary gland will produce. The nutrients that your baby will take in for the period of breastfeeding is dependent on the type of food you eat.
While your baby suckles your breast, you lose some calories, Ina, a daily basis. It is therefore required that you eat well to gain back some lost nutrients. Healthy beverages, nutritious meal,s, and water should be consumed regularly.
5. Try Out Different Holds.
Try out another holding one you and your baby get used to the existing latch. Experimenting on various holds will help you find the one that is easy, comfortable, and feels better for the child and you too.
Here are four types of holds you can practice.
To experiment on this, lie on your bed with your side resting on several piles of the pillow as your support for your back, head, and legs for your body to maintain a line posture. Tuck your bottom arm under your head and cradle your child’s head with your top or bottom arm.
Make your child lie sideways such that he faces you, the allow your child’s head in the crook of your arm such that your arm and head provides support for your baby’s back and bottom.
This requires tucking your baby under your arm like a soccer ball with his head placed comfortably in your arm, such that it provides support for your child’s body.
4. Cross Cradle
This is just kien the cradle feeding practice but involves the variation of the cradle with the same positioning, although, you will need to support your baby with the opposite arm of the breast being suckled.
Challenges Faced by Babies and Mothers During Breastfeeding Periods.
According to world health organizations(WHO, HND), malnutrition is the major direct and or indirect cause for most infants deaths. This death according to WHO is a result of inappropriate feeding practices that occurs usually during the first stage of life.
They said that nutrition and nurturing during the first year of life are most crucial for life-long health and well-being of one-third of mothers who feed their babies with exclusive breast milk for six months.
WHO, therefore advised nursing mothers and potential parents that infants should be fed with breast milk at the very first hour of life. Parents should get involved in exclusive breastfeeding of infants for the first six months of life and followed by complementary, properly fed, and adequate supply of nutritious food while still practicing a good breastfeeding habit for the duration of extra 18 months, which makes a total of two years of breastfeeding.
The benefits and importance of breastfeeding are not just to the advantage of the child but also to the health and well being of the nursing mother, even after the stage of Infancy of the baby.
Here are some benefits of breastfeeding practices mothers should know.
1. Breastfeeding helps in proper heat production and adipose tissue development.
2. It helps to reduce about 75% risks of sudden death syndrome in infants.
3. It is believed to help enhance and boost the baby’s intelligence quotient, IQ.
4. It helps to reduce the occurrence of contracting middle ear infections.
5. Breastfeeding helps to build resistance against cold and flu in children.
6. It helps to assist the womb in returning to the normal size and slows postpartum discharge.
7. It helps the breastfeeding mother to lose weight and return to her normal size.
8. Breastfeeding helps to reduce or eliminate the risks of breast cancer in women.
9. Breastfeeding helps to supply the appropriate quality of fat, proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, hormones, and digestive enzymes to the baby.
10. Breast milk contains some antibodies and lymphocytes from the nursing mother which helps the infants fight and resist the attack of infections.
Getting to breastfeed your baby especially as a new mother is usually not so easy going. This practice has to be learned just like every other practice that involves childbearing as it’s your first experience.
This guide is prepared to help you get through this stage of life. Although, as you time goes by, you will become used to all the rigors that are attached to nursing your baby.
The information contained herein is not meant to claim authority in the field of parenting or medicine. Therefore, consultation to the right body should be sought at the right time for the right reason.
Thanks for reading.