Newborn babies need optimum amount of nutrition during their developing stage. Breast milk contains all the essential nutrients that a baby needs to grow in a proper manner. Hence, breast milk plays a crucial role in the overall development of a baby. However, making the decision of breastfeeding is a personal matter and the opinions about the same differ from person to person.
Undoubtedly breastfeeding is one of the most amazing phases of motherhood as a mother provides nourishment to her baby for the first time. However, there are several breastfeeding benefits and difficulties which you need to know before you make a decision. In this article, we’ll talk about the various facts about breastfeeding that every mother needs to know.
What are the Benefits of Breastfeeding?
Breast milk is nature’s exquisite food for babies as it contains immunity-boosting antibodies and healthy enzymes along with several essential nutrients such as protein, multivitamins and fats which plays a vital role in the overall development of an infant. Furthermore, there are various breastfeeding benefits for both mother and baby.
- Breastfeeding is the most convenient: Breastfeeding is an ideal way to supply optimal nutrition to your baby at the perfect temperature. You don’t need to worry about the preparing and heating formula and there’s no bottle to clean up the after the feeding.
- It is inexpensive: Breastfeeding can help you save thousands of bucks. If you just feed your newborn baby with your breast milk then you don’t need to spend several bucks on any formula, bottles and supplies. Moreover, breastfeeding also helps keep your child healthier which will ultimately reduce medical costs as well.
- Babies like the taste of breast milk more: Breast milk has an unique flavor that is much different in taste and is undoubtedly better than any formula. Moreover, the taste of the food that a mother eats is passed along to the baby which can diversify their diet right from the start. Breastfeeding is also comforting to your baby. A scared, sick or injured baby can be comforted by breastfeeding easily.
Though breastfeeding is natural but it’s not always easy for everyone. There are various breastfeeding difficulties that a new mother faces such as:
- Latching pain: Many of the new mothers experience sore nipples when they first start breastfeeding and it’s completely normal. But, sometimes the pain might last for more than a few seconds in your feeding session. This could be due to an issue with your baby’s latch as both you and your baby are learning the rules here. Hence, an improper latch is one of the most common breastfeeding difficulties faced by most of the new mothers.
- Leakage of milk: Most of the new mothers experience milk leakage at one time or another. And, this happens especially at the time when milk production levels are yet to be established. However, leakage of milk is physically harmful and also, it can be quite embarrassing sometimes.
- Engorgement: It’s absolutely fine if your breasts feel full and heavy during the first few days of nursing. But in some cases, your breasts might feel hard and uncomfortable even after this phase. If that is so, then you might be experiencing engorgement. The reason behind engorgement is usually inadequate removal of milk. For example, if your baby doesn’t nurse long enough and then your breasts may become overfilled with milk which causes breast engorgement.
Common Breastfeeding Positions
Now, that you know the breastfeeding benefits and difficulties, let’s talk about some common breastfeeding positions.
There are several different positions you can try to breastfeed your baby. But, if this is your first baby and you don’t have prior experience of breastfeeding then, you must try some of the most common breastfeeding positions that you might have read about or seen. After a period, when you become confident, you can give a try to other positions also. Before you know it, you’ll find a few Breastfeeding Positions that are quite comfortable and works best for you and your baby.
- Laid-Back Nursing Position: This is a natural position and it can be used from the first breastfeeding. It can be an ideal choice for anyone and it is helpful for those who are nursing a preemie, twins or a baby that has difficulty latching on.
- The Cradle Hold: This is one of the most popular breastfeeding positions and is preferred by most of the mothers around the world. It might be quite difficult for some mothers to breastfeed in this position right from the beginning, but once your baby learns to latch on well, this can become a comfortable way to breastfeed your baby.
- Side-Lying Position: Side-Lying is considered as one of the most comfortable positions when you’re tired and want to breastfeed your baby lying down. It’s a natural choice for nighttime feedings and it’s also helpful for those who have had a C-section.
Breast pumps are used to remove and collect the milk from your breasts. The breast milk can thereafter be immediately fed to your baby or stored in breast milk storage bags. Most of the mothers use a breast pump for breastfeeding. Some of them use a pump to prevent breast engorgement or to give their baby an occasional bottle feeding habit, while others pump because they are too busy with their work.
But, do you know when you should use a breast pump? You should use it when:
- You need help to pull out flat or inverted nipples.
- Your baby is a preemie or in the hospital and cannot breastfeed.
- You are returning to your work or an event.
- You wish to establish a supply of milk for an adopted baby.
- You want to increase your supply of milk.
- You have stopped breastfeeding due to some reasons and want to begin lactating.
Breastfeeding is one of the most amazing experiences of being a mother and there are several breastfeeding benefits and difficulties for both mother and baby, but it is very crucial for the overall development of a baby and breastfeeding is a completely personal opinion which differs from person to person.