Even though a woman dedicates nine months to home a human body inside her, there is no amount of time or research that can prepare her for motherhood. One learns and develops with time and starts to realize what’s best for the newborn. Breastfeeding is one crucial part of motherhood. It is a wonderful gift for you and your baby. The feeling of fulfillment and joy is what a mother feels while nursing her baby. When the mother and baby finally find the rhythm, breastfeeding can provide some incredibly special and intimate moments.
Health Benefits of Breastfeeding
Beyond emotional satisfaction there are so many health benefits linked to breastfeeding:
- It helps a mother to recover from childbirth quickly and easily.
- The hormone oxytocin that is released during breastfeeding helps the uterus to move to its original shape and also reduces postpartum bleeding.
- Breastfeeding also helps to avoid problems like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol.
- Exclusive breastfeeding also helps in delaying menstruation post-delivery. Hence, increasing the time between the two pregnancies.
- Breast milk provides all the protein, sugar and fats that your baby needs to grow healthily
- Breast milk contains many substances that benefit the baby’s immune system, including antibodies, immune factors, enzymes, and white blood cells.
Most importantly breastfeeding develops an emotional connection between a child and the mother. It is the only parenting behavior that only a mother can do for her child, creating a powerful physical and emotional connect. This special connect is beyond imagination. It can only be experienced by a new mother.
Also Read: Breastfeeding Techniques
- Your child’s mouth should be wide open and lips turned outwards.
- Make sure that the baby is only sucking the nipple and not the areola with it.
- There should be rhythmic sucklings, in short bursts separated by pauses.
- You can hear him swallowing regularly.
- Your nipple is comfortable after a few suckles.
It is important for you and your baby to be comfortable at the time of breastfeeding. Make sure your back is straight but relaxed while you offer breast milk to your baby. You may lie in an easy chair or on a bed but it is important to have your spine straight while feeding. A leaned back may make it more difficult for your child to latch on properly. A leaned back will always strain your spine hence, stiffening it. If you have large breasts then there may be a need for a rolled towel or a piece of cloth beneath your breast to keep your baby’s mouth at a straight-on angle with the nipple. Once you are correctly positioned, you can hold your baby in any way you want. Using more than one position will also prevent your nipple to go sore and clogging of milk ducts.
Myths About Breastfeeding
- You cannot get pregnant while breastfeeding.
- You need to toughen your nipples before the baby is born
- Small breasts do not produce as much milk as the large ones.
- Breastfeeding will ruin the shape of your breasts.
- Sexual arousal while breastfeeding is abnormal.
The above points are untrue and should not be considered if someone tells you so. It is okay to have doubts about breastfeeding as you go through the process, but that does not mean you believing in any kind of above-mentioned myths. Breastfeeding gives your baby more than just nutrition. It has both medical and psychological benefits for both you and your baby. For some mothers, the process of breastfeeding works in a very smooth way from the beginning.
For others, it may take some time and effort for the process to work out which is absolutely normal. You will realize that your child will feel warm, comfortable and nurtured as he/she feels your skin to skin. It is your first connection when you two start to get to know each other. Your child’s satisfied hunger and thirst when breastfed will give you the feeling of contentment and happiness.
Also Read: Breastfeeding: What’s True And What’s Not