Deciding to feed your child with breast milk is, in fact, the best decision you can make regarding your child’s future. It is a known fact that breast milk is the best food for your baby. Breastmilk is a complete food for the baby as it has at least 400 nutrients including hormones and disease-fighting enzymes. In fact, these many nutrients are not available in the infant milk formulas found in the markets nowadays. There are also special growth compounds and hormones found in the breast milk that promotes optimal growth and development in the baby.
The first milk from the breasts is called colostrum and is creamy, low fat and high-substance produced only in the first few days of breastfeeding. Colostrum is packed with disease-fighting antibodies to help strengthen the newborn’s immune system required in the first few weeks of the baby’s life. Not only that, breast milk is also very easily digestible.
It is interesting to note that breast milk’s consistency chances with the baby’s feed. At first, breast milk serves to be a thirst-quencher and as the baby grows older and bigger, the breast milk changes into a thicker mixture to satisfy the baby’s growing hunger. Other than producing excellent nutrition for the baby, it also has many other benefits.
Breast milk can be considered the first port of the immunization schedule for the baby. This is because it has the required antibodies to protect the baby from intestinal and common respiratory diseases. It has been shown through research that providing breast milk to the baby in the first three months of the baby’s life tends to prevent the occurrence of any respiratory illness in the baby. In fact, if you breastfeed the baby for four months, there is also a possibility of lowering the baby’s risk of catching any ear infections too.
With exclusive breastfeeding, especially in the first six months of the baby’s life, can provide him from any family histories of allergies your family may have like asthma and eczema. Another benefit of breastfeeding that has been proved through research is that it leads to optimal brain development.
Not only is breast milk good for the baby, it is also very good for the mother too. It has been proven through research that breastfeeding leads to a more rapid and sustained weight loss for the mother. This is because the suckling of the baby helps pull the womb back into shape.
Is Breast Feeding Still Best for Babies
The first time mother is always overwhelmed about the things that have to be done with the baby. However, the one thing that you can be certain about with the baby is that you want the very best for the baby. And to give the baby the excellent start in life, breastfeeding proves to be the best choice.
Humans make breast milk for human consumption. It is far lighter than the formulae milk available, and at the same time, very easy for the baby to digest. Moreover, breast milk also has all the natural nutrients a baby needs for that healthy start in life. In addition to this, breast milk is also proven to contain antibodies that help the baby in protecting himself against all types of infections. It also reduces the risk of childhood diabetes, allergic conditions like asthma and eczema and leukemia. As the breastfeeding mother produces specific antibodies for many infections, which is transferred to her breast milk. So in this way, the baby also receives these antibodies.
There are also some studies that hold that breastfed babies tend to have a higher level of intelligence than their formula fed counterparts. However, this point is yet to be confirmed. Breastfeeding is not only good for the baby; it is also good for the mother. It is the healthiest choice for a new mother to make as with breastfeeding, the mother faces a reduced chance of contracting pre-menopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and fractures that arise from osteoporosis.
Breastfeeding is a convenient method of feeding your baby, as there is no sterilizing or preparation needed for it. It also forms a special bond between the baby and the mother. However, you should not think you are not a fit mother if you feel you can’t breastfeed, or if you are unable to do so. Using formula milk for the baby is just as fine, and you will love the baby just as much!
Some women don’t take to the idea of breastfeeding their baby due to work commitments of other problems hampering them from breastfeeding. However, although there may be many reasons for not breastfeeding, it doesn’t really matter. There are some mothers who may start breastfeeding, only to end up finishing with formula. The reason for this could be a loss of confidence, disappointment or various other reasons. There is no need of feeling guilty about this!
If you do decide to breastfeed, then some purchases will be needed. A nursing bra is very important as the breasts are going to change and enlarge. So you have to keep them supported as much as possible to reduce future sagging. These bras are also very useful for breastfeeding, as they are discreet and convenient. Breast pads are necessary if you going to be away from the baby for a while. The body decides to tell you the time to feed the baby, and may thus make the breast leak to cause embarrassing wet marks to your clothing.
You could consider buying nipple shields that are useful when your nipples get sore while feeding. Investing in a breast pump too is good. You will need it to express some of your milk for use in any period of absence from the baby. So breast pumps are a must.