Naturally feeding children, feeding your baby with breast milk of your mother is the most valuable thing you can give him in his first year of life. This process is the most natural, laid down by nature itself. When the mother’s breast is sucked, the baby calms down, and tactile and spiritual contact is established between the baby and the mother.
Together with breast milk, the baby receives everything necessary: protein, vitamins, necessary hormones, protective antibodies. Therefore, you need to try to get the most complete information about breastfeeding: what is breastfeeding, what is it for, how to properly set it up and what pitfalls can you wait on this way. All of this will be discussed below.
What is breastfeeding
Natural breastfeeding (HB) - this is feeding a baby with her own breast milk directly from the breast or expressed in advance. There are also cases of breastfeeding with foreign breast milk (nurse).
Benefits of breast milk
Milk is a unique product. Its composition varies depending on the needs of the baby, time of day and even the feeding process.
Let's look at the benefits of breast milk:
- Antiallergenic. The protein of breast milk is native to our body. It suits him completely, unlike cow or goat, in which the protein molecule is larger and is perceived by our body as foreign, that is, allergenic.
- The amount of protein in milk. Breast milk contains as much protein as the baby needs, and animal milk is aimed at the development of their babies, respectively, they have a different, increased concentration of protein. The same applies to artificial mixtures, in which the amount of protein is very high. This, in turn, causes oversaturation, intoxication, increased stress on the digestive organs of infants.
- Protection against various infections and viruses. Breast milk contains phagocytes - immune cells that remain active in the baby’s intestines, as well as immunoglobulins that protect the baby’s mucous membranes - the “gateway” for infection.
- Ease of absorption. Breast milk contains the enzymes necessary for a more complete assimilation of this product. In this regard, it is assimilated 100% in contrast to artificial mixtures. In addition, enzymes contribute to the propagation of beneficial and the death of pathogenic microflora.
- The content of beneficial trace elements and vitamins. Depending on the needs of the child and his age in the milk of a woman, their content varies. This entails the normal development of the baby’s body without deficiency and oversaturation with useful substances.
- Psychological factor. While the baby is at the mother’s chest helps him to relax, calm down, get a sense of protection, develop the hormone of pleasure. So children can easily adapt to a new environment: dry air, bright light, noise, skin irritation with various tissues. It also helps with pain, for example, during intestinal colic.
The difference between natural and artificial feeding the baby
Below we will make a comparison between the natural feeding of the newborn and the feeding of artificial mixtures, as well as identify the possible risks with the second variant of feeding the baby:
- Mixtures are difficult to digest, causing constipation, bloating, and pain in the intestines. Of course, you can use split, sour-milk mixtures, which gives its effect, but can not be fully compared with mother's milk. In addition, such mixtures are quite expensive.
- The composition of the trace elements of the mixture is constant. This can not serve as a guarantee of the well-being of the baby, since the need for trace elements and vitamins changes with age, and is also individual for each. In this regard, an allergic reaction to any component of the mixture may occur, and skin tests at the allergist's doctor are done no earlier than three years.
- When eating from a bottle, the child sees the amount of the mixture eaten and begins to focus on it, and not a feeling of fullness. In this case, children often overeat, which also affects digestion, and can also cause excess weight.
Organization of breastfeeding
Organization of natural feeding is not an easy process. So how, then, to fix it?
Firstly, breastfeeding begins already in the maternity ward, when your baby is put to your chest for the first time, while he carefully sucks, trying to get nutrients . It is an innate reflex aimed at survival. Trust your body, he himself knows what to do. Let the baby suckle as much as he needs. He will release it when he wants.
Secondly, the key to the success of natural feeding is the calm of the mother. In any case, the mood is important. If you make a decision, at any cost to breastfeed your child for a certain time, for example up to a year, then that's how it will turn out. No difficulties will stop you.
Feel free to use the services of breastfeeding consultants. These are specially trained people. They will help you to organize feeding without pain, give recommendations, explanations. You can invite a consultant to your home immediately after discharge from the hospital.
What is colostrum?
In the first hours after the baby is born, colostrum begins to be produced, not milk. This is a thick cream or yellowish liquid. In its composition, colostrum is more comparable to blood than to milk. Eating it allows the baby to switch to a new diet with the greatest comfort.
Colostrum is a concentrated product, which is why you should not worry that the baby may not have enough nutrition.
- has a laxative effect, which makes the exit of the first stool (meconium) easier;
- reduces the risk of jaundice;
- colostrum in the early days of the baby - its protection against all possible external influences of pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria and viruses).
Pay attention so as not to disturb Herodic processes, mothers in the first 3-5 days after giving birth need to reduce fluid intake for high-quality colostrum production.
Putting the baby on the breast
To successfully begin the process of breastfeeding, young mothers need to follow a few simple recommendations:
- As often as possible, put the baby on the chest, even if you think there is nothing there. Understand that you do not have a scale by which you will understand that your chest is full or empty. Even the feeling of mechanical filling during hot flashes of milk is simply a swelling of the mammary gland. Just take it as an axiom that there is milk.
- Before you put your baby to your chest, take a few minutes for yourself. Calm down, think about the pleasant. Do a breast massage (very important!).
- Make sure the baby is properly applied to the breast. This can be taught by maternity staff or a breastfeeding consultant. You can also watch training videos on the Internet.
The quality of breast emptying depends on how you apply the baby to the breast:
- whether the baby will take air when sucking (which entails stomach pain);
- how you feel when feeding (possible pain, cracks in the nipples).
The right posture for breastfeeding
There are many different poses for feeding:
- “Cradle”, the most common pose is that you hold the baby in your arms, while sitting or standing yourself.
- Lying on your side - you are lying on your side, you can put a pillow under your head, the child on your side is facing you, his tummy is firmly pressed to yours. Hold it with your free hand.
- "From under the arm" - the pose helps with lactostasis. You sit. Next to you is a pillow, on it, put the baby on the back with the legs back. Holding the head with your free hand, the second for support. The baby is under your arm.
The feeding process
There is a controversial opinion on how best to feed the baby: on the clock or on demand. So, experts recommend feeding the baby on demand until you have mature lactation, about a month or two after giving birth. After that, you can choose the optimal feeding regimen.
The duration of one feeding should not exceed ten minutes from one breast. That is, one feeding takes about twenty minutes. At first, the number of applications can reach 12 times a day, later the child himself sets the number of feedings, most often it does not exceed eight.
Do I need to express milk?
In order to answer this question, it is necessary to understand the mechanism of milk production. Milk is produced by the action of the hormone prolactin as the breast is emptied, that is, according to the needs of your child. The more he eats, the more milk is produced. And for its easy release from the breast, the hormone oxytocin is produced, which is secreted by mechanical stimulation of the nipple. Therefore, if you want to increase the amount of milk, for example, to create a reserve for an unforeseen event or for other reasons, feel free to express yourself.
Do not forget that milk is primarily a baby’s food, not a drink. Therefore, if the room is too hot and dry, it is necessary to give the child water. Just do not use nipple bottles for this. This can harm you and reduce your natural feeding to nothing.
Some women have very delicate and sensitive nipple skin. From prolonged sucking, cracks may appear on it. This causes severe pain, up to the refusal of some women to breastfeed. To prevent cracks, after each feeding, lubricate the nipples with their own milk and allow them to dry. It creates a protective film and promotes the healing of microcracks.
Another unpleasant problem in organizing the natural feeding of a newborn is lactostasis - this is stagnation of milk in the ducts of the glands. The disease causes swelling of the chest, pain, fever. If such a situation arises, as often as possible, apply the baby to the breast and express milk on its own.
Enter the complementary foods
For about the first six months, the baby eats exclusively mother's milk. Starting from the seventh month of life, you can enter the complementary feeding with natural feeding. It can be juices, mashed cereals, steamed green vegetables, mashed apples, pears and a banana.
So, we have told you all the advantages of natural feeding. It is up to you to decide how you will feed your baby. Natural breastfeeding is the standard for every mother. But still, there are no wrong or bad decisions. Each situation is individual. Do not try to chase the title of “good mother” to the detriment of yourself or your child. The main thing is that you and your baby feel comfortable. To keep you healthy and happy.