Contributed by: Priyaish Srivastava
Breastfeeding is critical for your baby’s growth and development. It provides them with all the essential nutrients in the right amount which is easily digestible. WHO recommends breastfeeding should begin within the first hour after delivery and continue for at least two years, since breast milk helps build the baby’s immunity, which in turn helps fight against viruses and illnesses.
Scroll down to read more about:
- Health benefits of breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding precautions
- Signs your baby is hungry
- Signs that your baby is full
- Breastfeeding during Covid
Benefits of breastfeeding and importance of breastmilk
The nutritional content of breastmilk and its importance in the baby’s growth
Proteins such as lysozyme, a-lactalbumin, lactoferrin, casein, secretory immunoglobulin IgA, and serum albumin contribute to the nutritional value of nursing milk. It contains 1.2 g/dL protein, 3.6 g/dL fat, 7.4 g/dL lactose, and 70 kcal/dL calories. According to studies, breastmilk should be provided for at least six months to two years. On the day you give birth, your breastmilk is enriched with a thick and yellowish fluid known as ‘colostrum’ which is high in protein and other beneficial nutrients. Colostrum is an invaluable wonder food that aids in the entire development of the newborn’s body.
You should not worry if your breast starts developing a large amount of milk in the first few days of giving birth. It is a natural process that happens because your baby’s tummy expands.
Breastfeeding may increase the baby’s immunity and reduce the risk of diseases
The onset of middle ear infection, respiratory tract infection, flu infections, stomach infections, tissue damage, asthma, eczema, bowel disorders, diabetes, and leukemia can all be prevented by the nutrients included in breastmilk.
Breastmilk aid in maintaining the baby’s healthy weight and make them smarter
Breastmilk feeding for 6 months is known to help maintain a healthy body weight in babies. It greatly decreases the chances of being underweight or overweight. This occurs because breastfed kids have higher levels of leptin (a hormone that helps control hunger and fat storage). Some studies have also proven that babies who are fed breastmilk turn out to be smarter than those who are fed formulated milk because formulated milk does not have the wonder nutrients like that of breastmilk.
Breastfeeding can reduce your weight and probability of contracting diseases
You can become prone to postpartum depression (PPD), which starts shortly after giving birth and impairs your ability to nurse, affecting your baby’s health. Researches prove that breastfeeding mothers are less likely to develop postpartum depression (PPD). However, you should immediately consult your doctor if you are experiencing the symptoms of PPD.
Interesting Fact: The size of your breasts has no bearing on the amount of milk you produce.
Precautions for breastfeeding mothers
As a nursing mother, you should take all precautions to prevent any ailment from having an impact on your or your baby’s health. Here are some preventative steps you may take in your life.
During illness, your milk supply may be impacted. A low supply of milk can affect the health of your baby. Maintaining hydration and consuming plenty of fluids can help you stay healthy and increase your milk supply.
What if you need to go on prescription medication?
If the doctor wants to put you on medication, inform that you are a breastfeeding mother and ask for medicine that does not alter the accumulation of your milk. After breastfeeding, however, you should keep your distance from the infant since sneezing or coughing near the baby might harm their health because these illnesses are airborne.
Never stop breastfeeding abruptly
Breastfeeding should not be stopped abruptly since it might result in mastitis, a dangerous medical condition. Mastitis is a condition in which milk accumulates in your breast, causing irritation and infection. Always consult your doctor before you decide to discontinue breastfeeding.
Signs your baby is hungry
Even newborns have senses. Some activities that you might find cute and laugh about can be a clue that the baby is giving you to feed. Here are some signs that your baby might be hungry:
- They move their fist to mouth
- They turn their head to look for breast
- They suck their hands or do lip-smacking
- They open and close their mouth
Signs that your baby is full
Here are some indications you should look for which implies that your baby is full:
- They release the breast from their mouth and burp
- They tend to move away from the nipple
- They relax their body, maybe by stretching a little and open their fists
Breastfeeding during covid
The Covid-19 epidemic has instilled anxiety in the minds of everyone across the world and almost every mother thinks about how to breastfeed during covid. Taking the appropriate measures can keep you and your kid safe from this infection. Here are some safety precautions you can take to keep yourself and your baby safe:
- When nursing and caring for your infant, keep your hands clean.
- Do not cough or sneeze and always wear a mask.
- If you are too sick, avoid direct breastfeeding and ask a family member to spoonfeed the baby with your expressed milk.
- To avoid contracting the virus, keep a clean and sanitary environment during and after birth
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