Importance of Breastfeeding
The importance of breastfeeding is essential and healthy for both mothers and infants in several things.
Breastfeeding is a natural and effective way to full fill your baby’s needs, provide all vital nutrients and promote development.
Are you wondering how milk creates in the breast and when they create? milk creates during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, the breast prepares for breastfeeding, where hormones promote the growth of the milk-production gland.
Mammary glands are in women’s breasts, where milk produce and when the baby suckles the nipples, it triggers hormones to secrete milk.
There are several benefits of breastfeeding for both, however, it is a natural thing, but still, some moms may face challenges.
If you face breast-related issues like pain, if the baby is not drinking milk and other issues, then consult your doctor or lactation consultant.
Importance of Breastfeeding for Newborns Babies
Breast milk is a perfect food for newborns, which provides all the essential nutrients that are needed for babies.
Here are importance or power of mother breast milk for babies are include:
- Boost Immune System: Milk contains antibodies that make a baby’s immune system strong enough to prevent infection.
- Easy to digest: Infants have soft stomachs, and milk is the perfect meal for babies to take all essential nutrients where the stomach does not work hard to digest.
- Prevent digestive issues: Milk is already filtered through the mother’s breast, which reduces the chance of constipation and diarrhea (a water-borne disease)
- Prevent Infections chance: ear infections, and respiratory infections, because breastmilk contains antibodies that powerup the immune system
- But antibodies and other healthy gut bacteria are not found in formula but may help strengthen the immune system.
- Promote an emotionally strong bond: A touch, warmth feeling, and mother smell create security and comfort for breastfeeding.
- Also, skin-to-skin contact encourages the mother to promote more milk, and the baby to drink enough milk, which overall makes the bond strong.
- Reduce the risk of SIDS: Yes, breastfeeding can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, among other issues.
- Studies have shown that infants who never breastfeed are at 56% of higher risk of SIDS.
- Breastfeeding may reduce disease risk: Yes, breastfeeding may reduce the risk of several diseases even studies also support such as:
- Promote healthy bones
- create gut microbiome in the baby’s stomach
- keep oral health
- support brain growth
- provide all essential nutrients
- decrease allergies in the baby
- promote sleep in both mother and infant
- Breastfeeding promotes healthy weight: Studies have shown that frequent breastfeeding for 4 months prevents overweight and maintains a healthy weight.
- Reduce the chance of asthma: Studies reveal that children who have breastfed are at lower risk of asthma in comparison to non-breastfed.
- Milk contains antibodies that protect infants against infections and respiratory illnesses, also anti-inflammatory properties (8)
Overall, if you see that the baby is not getting weight, has changes in skin color, or has seen other abnormal things then consult your doctor.
Importance of Breastfeeding For New Moms
Breastfeeding is not only important for infants but also affects moms positively, just make sure to do frequent breastfeeding (8)
Frequent breastfeeding reduces the chance of breast engorgement, breast pain, redness, and other breast-related issues.
Here are several benefits you are:
- Reduce the risk of breast cancer: Breastfeeding reduce the risk of breast cancer through:
- Promoting healthy cells
- reducing exposure to estrogen
- make the immune system strong
- protect against the creation of abnormal breast cells
- Several studies found that moms who never breastfed are at higher risk of breast cancer (7) and 27% higher risk of ovarian cancer.
- Reduce the chance of health issues: Breastfeeding reduces the chance of several health issues like diabetes, obesity, and even cancer.
- Save money on the formula: Buying new bottles, maintaining proper hygiene, and changing the bottle every time, which make it more costly than breastfeeding.
- Help in weight loss: Yes, breastfeeding helps in weight loss, where calories burn to produce breast milk, and also release other hormones.
- It is important to note that breastfeeding is not a solution to losing weight, you have to work on yourself by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
- Encourage healthy eating: After having a baby it encourages the mom to eat healthily and avoid harmful things.
- Make sure to eat healthy food, do at least 30 hours of exercise, and drink enough water to make milk.
- Reduce stress level: Promote relaxation by releasing hormones that reduce stress, and promote health.
- In addition, Insufficient sleep leads to stress, and even worse the situation, and stress and lack of sleep are allied with each other (4)
- Increase milk supply: Breastfeeding creates the flow without any hinder, which prevents a low milk supply.
But not frequent breastfeeding leads to an LMS, but it works like this – more breastfeeding leads to more milk production (6)
In a low milk supply breastfeeding women are not able to produce sufficient milk to fulfill their child’s milk needs (8)
Challenges That Moms Face
There are several challenges that moms face during breastfeeding are:
In this, the baby is not completely attached to the nipples, which creates friction b/w the nipple and lips leading to sore nipples.
So make sure to do proper latching and follow these guidelines include:
- Proper body position and baby mouth position should be correct
- baby’s nose and chin should touch your breast
- if you feel sucking, then it means the baby consuming milk
Consult your doctor or lactation consultant, if you still face improper latching and other baby issues.
It also refers to breast engorgement, and most women experience it at least once in their lifetime.
There are several reasons for breast swelling which include:
- hormonal imbalance
- breast issues like fibrocystic breasts, and costochondritis
- PMS (Premenstrual syndrome)
- excessive caffeine, alcohol, and smoking intake
- medication like birth control pills, and medicine’s side effects
- certain food that is high in too much salt, and caffeine.
- it may be your unsupportive bra or wire bra
- if you have a medical issue, then breastfeeding may lead to breast swelling
Ways to deliver from breast swelling include:
- Prescribed medicine
- wearing a supportive bra, which also lifts the heavy breast
- Cabbage leaves (9)
- apply hot and cold compresses
- Surgery (In most cases is not needed)
- hormonal therapy
During breastfeeding sore nipples is a common concern, and improper latching is the main reason for it (9)
But there are other several reasons for sore nipples such as:
- Tongue tie
- breast engorgement
- wrong breastfeeding position
- unsupportive bra
- if you are on medication then your nipple may also be affected.
You can easily relieve and prevent sore nipples while breastfeeding through the:
- Warm and Cold compresses
- use essential oil and cream to prevent friction
- Making sure the baby has proper latching, so to do breastfeeding position with comfort is also necessary.
- OTC medication, pain relief
- natural remedies like – coconut oil, aloe vera gel, etc
- use nipples cover to prevent it
- maintain breast hygiene
- do frequent breastfeeding
If you experience severe pain, and other discomfort then seek medical help or your doctor, which may impact the infant’s health.
Before taking a medicine, therapy, and other ways talk to your doctor, because therapy may worsen the situation.
Low Milk Supply
In this condition, the mother is unable to make enough milk, which is also a common concern in new moms.
There are several reasons for the low milk supply, you can check it previous topic of low milk supply.
General ways to enhance milk production while breastfeeding include:
- keep body hydrate
- breast massage
- herbal ways
- prescribed supplements
- Frequent breastfeeding
- skin to skin contact
Remember, address your low milk supply before applying any new therapy, and medication, because it may interact with your health.