Forty-five years ago I lost my first baby girl at five days old from heart disease. I began to research every possible reason for an answer.
Breastfeeding for mothers who choose to breastfeed their baby, certainly will find it to be one of the sweetest, most precious times of caring for your baby.
Most anyone who has breastfed a baby beyond 2-3 months of age can clearly relate to this statement. While nursing a baby certainly does involve a personal time commitment, it is time well spent, and time that you will never regret spending.
Between the beginning colostrum, to the almost endless supply of the most perfect milk on this earth for your baby, you have absolutely nothing to lose, yet so much to gain, by at least trying to breastfeed your precious newborn.
Understanding From Family and Friends is Needed
Helpful Support For Successful Breastfeeding
Women who have nursed their babies beyond the first month understand how very challenging those first weeks can be. It certainly can try your patience, especially if you don't have a good support system.
It is very helpful to have a few close friends and, or family members who have had a successful breastfeeding experience with their own baby. Then when those little problems do arise, they will be able to encourage you, rather than trying to persuade you that breastfeeding is more trouble than bottle feeding.
While breastfeeding is quite natural, for some new moms it doesn't come naturally. Expect that you will need some guidance. This is perfectly normal.
Breastfeeding-Advantages For Mother
1. Uterus returns to normal size more quickly
2. A proven decrease in breast cancer
3. Mothers will continue to lose weight, while enjoying a nutritious diet. For most moms this is a slow, but steady decline.
4. Frequent holding and nursing increases natural bonding between mother and baby
5. No Formula to Prepare
6. No Bottles to Clean
7. No Heating, or guessing if the milk is the correct temperature. Breast milk is the perfect temperature in the middle of the night, or while out shopping, or any time that you are not near your own kitchen.
8. No Wasting Milk! Formula fed infants often will leave some formula behind with each feeding. If you throw the formula away this adds up to be even more costly. But, even if you put it back in the refrigerator for another feeding, bacteria quickly builds, and it could become unsafe.
9. No figuring out how many bottles to pack, or how much formula to bring when leaving home.
10.No problems with keeping milk supply at a safe temperature while on an outing.
11.Breast milk is prefect nutritionally. There are still many unknown nutrients that have not yet been discovered. But, these undiscovered nutrients are in your breast milk! Now that is Amazing!
When you are eating a nutritionally balanced diet, drinking pure water and eating mostly organic, your baby is getting the best available nutrition on the planet, and at a very reasonable price!
No Problem...No Bottle Warmer Needed ! - PHOTO:Jenny Silver
Nursing Away From Home...... Even when your on the mountain top. WOW!
When mother and baby are together, you always have a convenient, fresh, readily available milk supply. No bottle warmer needed! Your Breast Milk is the perfect temperature, and the perfect nourishment nutritionally, and emotionally.
Breastfeeding-Advantages For Baby
1. Colostrum is considered the perfect first food for a newborn baby. It usually comes in, or ”let's down” in very small quantities, but is referred to as "liquid gold." Colostrum is well known for supplying antibodies from the mother. This means any viruses or bacteria (germs - pathogens) the mother has been exposed to during her life, will now allow her baby to be protected against those exact germs. The colostrum contains protective white blood cells, which attack harmful bacteria. Colostrum is high in protein . It is also low in sugar and fat.
2. Breast milk has the perfect balance of nutrients - protein, minerals, and fat.. Containing all necessary vitamins necessary for the first six months of life.
3. Breast milk is full of antibodies that will continue to protect your baby against infections and illness, and will build a strong immune system.
The antioxidants, Beta-carotene, Lutein, Lycopene, are naturally found in breast milk which helps protect the eyes and skin.
4. The substance called immunoglobulin A (lgA) is present in large amounts in colostrum.
Breast milk has lesser amounts, but it is still present. This wonderful substance prevents germs from entering by creating a barrier on the mucous membranes in the baby's nose, throat, and intestines.
5. Studies have shown that babies who are breastfed have a 20% lower risk of dying between the ages of 1 month through 1 year of age.
6. Studies have also shown childhood cancers are lower in breastfed babies.
7. Exclusive breastfeeding has been shown to cut the risk of SIDS ( sudden infant death) in half.
It is recommended by the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to breastfeed as long as possible to reduce the risk of SIDS
8. Breastfed babies are less likely to be hospitalized from illness.
Breastfeeding Improves Cognitive Deveopment
9. There is research in which 17,000 babies who were exclusively nursed long term, concluded from intelligence tests and IQ scores, that breastfeeding improves cognitive development.
Cognitive abilities include, a range of knowledge in which the child can perceive and recognize their surroundings.
10. While it is a fact that two days of breast feeding are better than one day (and so on), research concludes that prolonged, exclusive breastfeeding will give the highest quality of health.
11. This may or may not be 100% correct. But, as a mother who did nurse a child prolonged and exclusively (meaning no formula or cows milk) for four years. It is important to mention, that this child was rarely sick for more than 12 hours, and never needed to use antibiotics until the age of 9 years, and became a very healthy adult. That part was a very good thing!
12. Babies who are breastfed for at least 3-6 months will have superior facial development. Along with the excellent nutrients in breast milk, and the fact that the calcium is more efficiently absorbed in breast milk. Also, breastfed babies must exercise their facial muscles very hard to drink their milk.
Normally, the longer a child is allowed to nurse , the more superior the facial development.
13. We each will do the best that we can for our babies. Some of us will be content with no days or 1 day of nursing, others of us will be fine with doing it long term.
Fortunately, as a parent you will be able to make the choice that you feel is right for you and your family.
Which ever way you decide to go, I truly wish you the very best.
The picture below shows the obvious difference between" fore milk" (on left) and "hind milk" (on right).
What To Expect
Very frequent feedings for the first two month
A baby who is being breastfed, should be nursed at least 8 -15 times in a 24 hour period. Feeding every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours during the night. This is quite normal, and frequency will depend on your individual baby's needs. Some babies need more feedings because they are growing faster. Many women simply need time to build a consistent supply of milk that can satisfy their baby's appetite.
The more you nurse, the more milk your body will make. Your body will make the same amount of milk tomorrow that the baby was able to drink today.
Therefore, frequent feedings are very important for helping to properly nourish your baby, and to consistently increase milk production.
It's important to drink sufficient nutritious liquids, including plenty of pure water.
Drink 6-8 (8oz.) glasses of liquids every 24 hours will hopefully help to prevent constipation for both mother and baby. Caffeine and alcohol cannot be recommended during breastfeeding.
Allow your baby to nurse until finished at each feeding, trying your best to not rush your baby. This will also help to meet the babies natural sucking needs, which should make for a more content baby.
Building A Good Supply of Breast Milk
In the beginning especially, you will want the baby to nurse on each side, at each feeding. The first side, nurse 10 to15 minutes, (burp baby) and then nurse on the second side, for another 15 to 30 minutes. Try for at least a 25 to 45 minute nursing session for each feeding. This should allow baby to get the "fore" milk and the "hind" milk, for the most balanced nutrient levels. The fore milk consists of mostly water with little fat. This will satisfy baby's thirst. The hind milk is much richer, with much higher fat content, which will satisfy baby's hunger.
Breast milk is constantly being made; therefore, as a mom continues to nurse and empties the breast , the body will continue to make "fore" and "hind" milk as necessary, as you continue to nurse your baby.
Always begin the next feeding on the breast that was not completely emptied. If your baby can't empty both breasts, try to at least empty one breast. But, in the beginning each breast should be stimulated during each feeding.
Obviously, if you have very sore nipples, you will need to use your own best judgment, and talk with a lactation specialist.
For first time mothers, it is wise to locate a lactation specialist before the birth of your baby. Then you can talk with her before anything gets out of hand. Your pediatrician may be able to recommend one to you.
To help prevent or minimize soreness, be sure your baby has latched on to your nipple and areola properly.
Positioning your baby correctly is also very important in preventing sore nipples. Hold baby with his head in the bend of your elbow with his tummy facing against yours. The baby's mouth should be level with your breast, not pulling up or down.
Never allow baby to suck on just your nipple alone. If this happens, Immediately break the suction.
To painlessly break the suction.
Stick your finger in the side of baby's mouth, leave your finger between the baby's gums until you feel the baby release the suction, then remove baby from the breast. And then start over. With just a little practice this process becomes easy and natural.
Getting sufficient sleep is very important.
Yet, with nursing every 1 to 3 hours, it is hard to get a good restful sleep.
Also, most women haven't been sleeping that well for a month or two before the birth of the baby. So you may be beginning this whole process with a sleep deficit.
The following are few suggestions that may help you.
Make yourself very comfortable while nursing. Not only the most comfortable clothing, but, also use the most comfortable chair, or prop yourself in bed, using lots of pillows for back and arms, so that you are not straining yourself at all.
Make sure that even if you would doze off for a few minutes, baby is completely and safely supported. Boppy's (pillows made especially to place on your lap while nursing) can also help with this problem.
I realize that it is being said, and I have also read, how bad it is to lay down and sleep while you are nursing. Supposedly, you can suffocate your baby. While I am not advocating this method, "for me" it was a godsend for getting the proper amount of sleep.
In the 60’s and 70's, when I was nursing, we did not have good breast pumps that actually worked. You would be lucky if you could pump 1 or 2 ounces. Therefore, it was almost impossible to get enough milk in order to fill a bottle. Therefore, the majority of nursing moms at that time could not expect any help with nursing their baby. If you wanted your baby to have only breast milk, it was completely up to mom to build a good supply and nurse from the breast. Obviously, quite attainable, as it was done this way for centuries.
I mention this to help to encourage any wondering if they can breastfeed. It certainly can be done by using these helpful hints, and realizing you can do this.
At the time that I was nursing my babies, there were no co sleeping baby beds. But, I did use a regular bassinet, which I kept right next to our bed. It did make it much easier during the night for the first three or four months. Usually at this point, babies are big enough to sleep for longer periods of time. Then baby can either co sleep or use their regular crib, which ever one you choose to do.
The new co sleeping baby beds are especially good for this method of sleeping. When the baby has finished nursing and fallen back to sleep, its easy to just move them to their own safe little zone. And now mom can get a little better rest. Or at least, that is supposed to be the idea.
Try to keep friends and family on a reasonable visiting schedule.
If you need to rest, it is fine when people call to ask to see the baby, to politely say, "I am so exhausted, could we make it on such and such day at 3:00. That should be a good time. I never really know, since we haven't worked into a schedule yet, and we are still feeding and resting very often". I'm excited for you to meet him/her. I'll let you know if anything changes.
This may cause some people who are not your best friends to wait a little longer to come for a visit. Or, maybe they want to come to bring you dinner, and would be happy with just a quick peak of your new precious one.
Of course, this shouldn't need to apply to your mom or sister, or best friend etc. Someone, who hopefully will be coming to help you, so that you can take a nap if needed.
But, here again, it is fine to tell the truth in love. After all, you did just have a baby, and both you and baby need to rest, and you need time to get to know each other.
It is necessary for mom to eat a well balanced diet. Also, drinking plenty of the purest water you can find will be extremely beneficial in helping to produce enough milk.
Even with these challenges, most moms find that after the first few months, breastfeeding has many advantages for both mother and baby.
Suffocation and Breastfeeding
I personally, always nursed laying down at night, or during the day if I needed a rest. I did this for several years, and never had even the slightest problem. My husband and I slept in a double bed with our baby there with us for a large part of each night. You are so close to your baby, that you can easily hear them, and can feel their every move.
But with that said, always use your own instincts. And, PLEASE read the following suggestions.
Always use common sense. Never drink alcohol, or take drugs. Only use prescription drugs, that your doctor approves of while nursing. And certainly, do not nurse laying down unless you are sure you are safe. DO NOT lay down with a Premature, Sick, or Low Birth Weight infant.
And, Never, Never lay down to nurse baby, if you have been drinking alcohol. (which I personally do not recommend while breast feeding)
There have been documented cases of mothers and fathers rolling onto their "own babies" and suffocating them.
PLEASE:) Eat Your Veggies
Feeling Hungry? - PHOTO: lisaclarke
Keep Your Fruit Bowl Filled ... Grab A Piece Of Fruit!!
Fruit Along With A Slice Of Cheese:)
This is a healthy, delicious snack.
Add whole grain crackers or bread, along with hummus. Now you have.the perfect quick lunch.
Fruit and nuts are another delicious healthy combination. (either fresh or dried fruit)
Eat A Healthy Breastfast
Eating a balanced healthy breakfast will give you natural energy.
Eating an egg, a piece of whole grain bread, and a piece of
fruit, or fresh squeezed juice will allow your blood sugar to stay
at a normal level for 3-4 hours. Then it will either be lunch time,
or time for a healthy snack. Keep your blood sugar steady, by eating
healthy, meals at regular intervals throughout the day.
Breastfeeding Diet - PHOTO: RUBY RAN
Nutrient Rich Diet Equals Healthy Mom and Baby
A breastfeeding mom needs a wholesome diet to provide her infant with the highest quality breast milk possible.
This should include fruits and vegetables, good sources of protein, and healthy fats.
100 percent wholegrain breads, rice, pasta, and legumes are best for mom and baby's health. Organic fresh produce is best. The next best choice is frozen vegetables and fruits.
1. Continue to take a high quality prenatal vitamin. You will need extra B vitamins for energy.
2. Eating a healthy diet is also essential for mom to maintain a good quality of health during nursing, and a good diet during nursing will prevent a drain on your health for the future.
3. Drinking enough liquids is very helpful to keep the milk flowing, and it will help you to feel less fatigue when your body is properly hydrated . Proper hydration also helps prevent constipation in both mother and baby.
4. Drink - At least 6 -8 (8oz.) glasses of fluid daily. This should include wholesome choices with little or no sugary juices, or sodas. Try to include mostly pure water, milk, sugar free juice (preferably watered down). Or small amounts of fresh squeezed juice.
For an occasional treat try :
Orange juice with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a splash of ginger ale. Or, better yet, seltzer water with 1/2 teaspoon stevia to replace ginger ale
Cranberry juice with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a splash of seltzer or ginger ale.
5. Vegetables, fruit, whole grain bread, cereal, and legumes should be a balanced part of your daily diet.
By following a good diet regimen, you and your baby will have glowing health.
Caloric Needs For Breastfeeding
To discover how many calories you actually need-
Multiply your present weight by 15. Then add another 500 calories. For twins or triplets, add 500 calories per baby. If you are nursing multiples, talk with your lactation specialist about your calorie needs.
PROTEIN AND CALCIUM
Protein - 65-100 grams-------Aim for the higher amount. There is mounting evidence that sufficient protein during pregnancy and lactation will increase your baby's general health and IQ.
High quality Protein containing all essential amino acids are required for the body to repair itself. Protein helps to continue to grow a healthy brain, vital organs, and repair tissues. ( to name a few)
Good sources of Protein:
Peanut Butter, and
Calcium - 1600 - 3000-------Again aiming for the higher amount. This will guarantee you and your baby will get the calcium that you need . It will help to build up a supply, for mom also, to help prevent tooth loss and bone weakening osteoporosis later in life.
Good Sources Of Calcium:
Cheese - Swiss, Cheddar (these two have the highest calcium content)
Broccoli - (the calcium in broccoli absorbs better than the calcium inl eafy greens leafy greens)
Leafy Greens - Kale, Collard Greens, Spinach, etc.
Dates - dried
Boppy - Organic Slipcover
The Boppy puts your newborn at the correct level for more comfortable breastfeeding. This will allow you to feel more relaxed, and prevent straining your arms and back. If you have not yet tried a Boppy, I highly recommend trying this product. If you already have a Boppy, consider getting an organic cover. This will help prevent baby's skin from coming in contact with unnecessary chemicals, from the manufacturing process and added dyes.
Is Breastfeeding Popular?
Co-Sleeping Bed - A Great Option For Your Tiny Newborn
In the beginning many people are afraid of rolling over onto their newborn baby. During those early days after birth, while they are still very small, co-sleeping beds can serve as a comforting transition.
Your baby can be close for frequent feedings, yet are safe in their own little area.
More Information on Breastfeeding - Click on These Links
It is a good idea to get your information from several sources. Then always use your own good judgment.
- Find free info on Breastfeeding
Find information from BabyCenter on pregnancy, children's health, parenting & more, including expert advice & weekly newsletters that detail your child's development.
- Nutritional info
Find Nutritional information
- Breastfeeding.com - Everything for the New Mom
Breastfeeding.com - breastfeeding information & support, video clips, directories of Doulas, Midwives, and Lactation Consultants, Ask an LC, and social networks for both moms and medical professionals.
- LLLI | Home
La Leche League International La Leche League has solutions to your breastfeeding questions Â
By Moms For Moms More good info!
- kellymom :: Breastfeeding and Parenting
kellymom.com - Breastfeeding and Parenting. Evidence-based information on breastfeeding and parenting issues.
All Comments and Questions Welcomed ......Thanks! - Do You Plan On Nursing?
Iftikhar-Hussain on February 17, 2013:
Very informative and nicely presented lens mom :)
Rosetta Slone from Under a coconut tree on November 03, 2012:
I'm still breastfeeding my 14 month old and it truly is one of the nicest things I've ever experienced. Definitely a huge commitment and there are times it's tiring but I believe it's a great investment in a child's future health (not to mention the bond that develops between mother and child). Fantastic lens.
OrganicMom247 on May 26, 2011:
Another great lens for moms! Lots of really great, simple information that breast feeding moms should know. Great job.
Wendy Leanne from Texas on February 22, 2011:
Very informative. Just like that mom on the mountain top, my best friend (also a breastfeeding mom) always said her slogan was "have boobs, will travel."
Great lens. *blessed*
carlajo73 on January 22, 2011:
You've done a great job here! I am lensrolling to my "Breast or Bottle?" site!