Breastfeeding - Breast is Best
by: Declan Tobin
Women have been feeding their children this way from the beginning,
and it is of course natures intended food, therefore the best nourishment
for your child. The decision to breast-feed is entirely up to you and each
woman should make up her own mind, it is an individual choice.
There are a number of reasons why a mother would decide not to breastfeed,
including infection e.g. hepatitis or HIV this can be passed onto the baby
through the breast milk, or if the mother is on long-term medication for
an illness, in this situation it is advised to bottle feed instead. Some
mothers canít produce enough milk and others just do not like the idea
at all, either way itís a personal decision.
In the 40s and 50s it was very unfashionable to breastfeed and mothers
were encouraged to bottle-feed. Itís a different story now days with our
health conscious society, more and more mothers are deciding that for them
and their infantís breast is best. Breastfeeding benefits not only the
child but the mother also.
It is the babyís natural food and is easily digested limiting stomach
problems and wind causing pain and discomfort to the baby. It is also provides
antibodies reducing the risks of gastro-intestinal infections, urine infections,
chest and ear it infections, breathing difficulties including asthma, diabetes,
eczema and childhood obesity.
There are also lots of benefits to the mother for breastfeeding including
a close maternal bond between you and your baby, a reduced risk of breast
cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis. Breastfeeding also helps the womb
to contract back to its normal size much quicker than if you were not breastfeeding.
You need to keep in mind that when you are breast-feeding it is not
safe to take the combined pill but you can take the mini pill for this
duration, this of course dispels the myth that you cannot get pregnant
during breastfeeding you definitely can. Another positive note is that
breastfeeding aids in the loss of the bodyís fat stores that were stored
in preparation for breastfeeding, this will speed up loosing the pregnancy
Although keep in mind that eating a well balance diet with daily vitamins
and minerals is fundamental for producing high quality milk for your baby,
this is not the time for any crash diets.
One of the big concerns for mothers when breast feeding is that they
are unsure of the amounts of food the baby is consuming, once the baby
is breastfeeding well and he or she is having wet and dirty nappies be
assured all is well. Your midwife or maybe friends and family can help
and advise when you are going through those anxious few weeks of breastfeeding,
there are also breast feeding support groups that you can go along to and
speak to other mums with the same problems or concerns as you.
Another concern for mothers is breast-feeding in public, most people
are okay with breastfeeding in front of friends and family but the thought
of breastfeeding in public makes them a little nervous. Do not let this
put you off, if you and your baby are comfortable with it thatís all that
matters. There is always a discrete table you can sit at in a restaurant
and or on the train and there is always the option of planning your outings
around feed times to avoid it completely.
When you decide the time is right to wean your baby onto bottles and
get some routine back into your life you need to decide if you will be
expressing your own milk or using formula.
Expressing is said to be a difficult and tricky task that takes a bit
of time and patients, however if you decide to go down this route you can
build up a store of breast milk and freeze it in specially adapted freezer
bags. Breast milk can last up to six months in the freezer. This way you
can be more flexible with your time and your baby gets all the goodness
of breast milk.
Although a lot of women actually want their breasts back and to feel
itís their body once again so they go with formula. Bottle feeding using
formula is not a bad idea as you can stop worrying about those embarrassing
wet patches and get back into your pretty smaller size bras again.
Not all women want to or can breast feed but I think you should give
it a go. It is a wonderful bonding experience for both mother and child
providing a lot of health benefits, its extremely rewarding all round.
About The Author
Declan Tobin is a successful freelance writer providing advice for
parents and consumers on purchasing a variety of baby products which includes
baby crib bedding, strollers, and more! His numerous articles provide a
wonderfully researched resource of interesting and relevant information.