The Benefits & Challenges of Breastfeeding
Choosing to feed their infant by breastfeeding is one of the very first decisions taken by mothers who are expecting a child.
Doctors generally advise for breastfeeding because breast milk offers to the infant the necessary antibodies to fight infections and to prevent allergies as well as a high number of chronic diseases. More than this, paediatricians claim that in the first 6 months from a baby`s life, the food of the infant should only include breast milk, and until at least the 12th month should be the main food.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Benefits of Breastfeeding
- 1.1 Preventing Infections
- 1.2 Breast Milk Contains Nutritional Value & Helps Digestion
- 1.3 Breast Milk Doesn`t Cost Anything
- 1.4 Different Tastes
- 1.5 Breastfeeding Offers Additional Comfort to Parents
- 1.6 Breastfeeding Prevents Obesity
- 1.7 Smarter Children
- 1.8 Direct Contact Between Mother and Baby
- 1.9 Breastfeeding Offers Benefits to the Mother`s Organism
- 2 The Challenges of Breastfeeding
The Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can be a wonderful experience for both mothers and babies. So, besides the fact that the infant will receive all the nutritional value he needs, the connection created in these moments cannot be compared with anything else.
The antibodies found in breast milk helps the infant`s organism to prevent the appearance of any medical conditions, such as diarrhea, meningitis, and ear or respiratory infections.
Breast milk stimulates and boosts the immune system of the baby, and also reduces the developing of bacteria or viruses. At the same time, breastfeeding is recommended for infants who were born through premature birth, also reducing the risk for other medical conditions such as asthma, obesity, allergies or diabetes.
Breast Milk Contains Nutritional Value & Helps Digestion
The components of breast milk (protein, fats and lactose) are easy to digest by the immature digestive system of the newborn. This will significantly decrease constipation or diarrhea.
A healthy child fed by a healthy mother doesn`t need to take nutritional supplements, except vitamin D. Even if this vitamin can be found in breast milk, it`s still produced by the organism during sun exposure, doctors claiming that sunlight can severely harm the infant`s skin. For this reason, it`s recommended to give the infant some supplements of vitamin D during the first 2 months of his life.
Breast Milk Doesn`t Cost Anything
Unlike baby formula, breast milk is free. Additionally, according to more recent studies, babies fed with baby formula get sick more often than those who are fed by breastfeeding.
A mother who breastfeeds requires an additional of 500 calories per day, reason for which she will need to consume a large range of different food that is rich in nutritional value. This way, with breast milk the infant begins to experience different tastes specific to the food consumed by adults.
Breastfeeding Offers Additional Comfort to Parents
Mothers who breastfeed don`t need to go to the local store to buy baby formula. In addition, breast milk is always fresh and doesn`t need to be stored in bottles, unless it`s your personal option.
Breastfeeding Prevents Obesity
Recent studies has shown that there are more babies who suffer of obesity after being fed with baby formula that those who are fed through breastfeeding.
All the latest research have revealed that in most cases, babies fed by breastfeeding have a higher IQ level than those who received milk from baby formula.
Direct Contact Between Mother and Baby
Most mothers are enjoying breastfeeding especially because of the direct contact with her baby. In those moments there`s an emotional bond created between she and her baby.
Breastfeeding Offers Benefits to the Mother`s Organism
There aren`t only benefits for the infant`s organism when breastfeeding, but also for the organism of the mother as well because it stimulates the process of burning calories and restores the uterine cavity.
The Challenges of Breastfeeding
Although breast milk is the most efficient nutritional source for infants, a lot of the new mothers claim that at some point they confronted with certain issues during breastfeeding. Often it takes patience and time so both mother and baby can establish a certain routine during breastfeeding.
Here are a few of the most often reasons of concern for mothers who decide on breastfeeding:
As any other new ability just acquired, mothers who are breastfeeding can feel uncomfortable at the beginning, but with practice and support this feeling can be successfully overcome. The first thing mothers need to be aware is pain. Is perfectly normal as in the first 7 to 10 days mothers to feel a small pain during the first minute of breastfeeding when the infants beginnings sucking on the breast. If the pain will not pass at all during the entire process, and swollen nipples start to appear, it`s best if you`ll contact a doctor regarding this.
Time and Frequency of Breastfeeding
It`s almost common knowledge that breastfeeding requires time and dedication. But because breast milk is easier to digest than the milk from baby formula, the time intervals between meals should be between 1 and 3 hours.
More Attention Regarding the Mother`s Diet
Just as during the pregnancy, mothers who choose to breastfeed must avoid fish with a high level of mercury. Additionally, women who drink 1 glass of alcohol need to wait at least 2 hours to be certain no alcohol will be transmitted through breastfeeding to the infant`s organism. Also, the daily intake of coffee must be limited at 300 mg, otherwise there is a risk for the infant to become cranky or fussy.
Medical Conditions, Medications and Surgical Interventions at Breasts
Medical conditions such as HIV infection or AIDS, or mothers who follow chemotherapy sessions or other drug related treatments can be very dangerous for the baby if they are fed through breastfeeding. Also, women who suffer surgical interventions at breasts could experience an inability of producing breast milk.