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Breastfeeding Care

Best breastfeeding care for breastfeeding moms A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge...

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Change in breast size

Change in breast size The first thing you will notice is a change in the size and appearance of your breasts. Note that the size of your breasts in no way influences...

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Nutrition and breastfeeding

Nutrition and breastfeeding Breastfeeding is not always easy but the old adage, breast is best, is so true. Breastfeeding holds many advantages for both baby and mom (read more). It is...

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The advantages of breastfeeding

Why Breast Really is Best

Mother's milk, time-tested for millions of years, is the best nutrient for babies because it is nature's perfect food.
Robert S. Mendelsohn

As soon as you fall pregnant, someone is bound to share the old adage: breast is best. But what does this actually mean to you and your baby? What are the benefits of breastfeeding that ultimately make it the best choice?

Advantages for Baby

  • Breast milk is without a doubt the most nutritious food for a human baby. It contains the perfect blend of protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and sugars needed for optimal physical and mental development. (Breast milk has over 300 known ingredients!) What’s more, these nutrients are automatically regulated to meet the changing needs of a growing infant.
  • Breast milk is easily processed by an infant’s immature digestive and excretory systems. This means that breastfed babies experience less colic and diarrhoea and are rarely constipated.
  • Breast milk protects against infection and illnesses due to the antibacterial and antiviral agents it contains. The enhanced immune response provided in the first year of life ensures that breastfed babies suffer fewer, and less severe, ear infections, respiratory illnesses and intestinal complaints.
  • Breastfeeding significantly lowers the risk of allergies such as eczema and asthma.
  • Breast milk is sterile and always available at the perfect temperature.
  • The incidence of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is reduced in breastfed babies.
  • The unique sucking action required by breastfeeding promotes optimal development of the jaw and teeth.
  • The risks of Chrohn’s disease and childhood diabetes are decreased in breastfed children. There are also several additional long-term health benefits such as decreased risk for high cholesterol and less obesity and heart disease in adulthood.
  • Benefits to cognitive development have been proven with breastfed children showing significantly higher IQ levels than formula-fed children.
  • Mother-child bonding is greatly enhanced by breastfeeding and the comfort and security of skin-to-skin contact.

Advantages for Mother

  • When you breastfeed, the hormone oxytocin is released. This stimulates the uterus to contract, reducing bleeding and allowing the uterus to shrink to its pre-pregnant size more quickly.
  • Breastfeeding burns calories! In combination with a nutritionally balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle, losing the extra ‘baby weight’ is far easier.
  • The risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer is greatly reduced.
  • Women who breastfeed have a decreased incidence of osteoporosis and ovarian and cervical cancer.
  • Breastfeeding delays the return of normal menstruating and fertility.
  • Breastfeeding is convenient and requires virtually no planning or preparation. This in turn means that travelling and socialising is much simpler. Bear in mind that breastfeeding can be challenging at first – don’t be afraid to ask for help from a lactation consultant – the reward is well worth the extra initial effort.
  • Mothers who breastfeed generally reap many emotional rewards and experience less anxiety and hormonal instabilities.
  • Breastfeeding is extremely economical!

Did you know?

  • Breast milk smells better going in and coming out! The stools of breastfed babies have a non-offensive smell, which makes changing the (several) nappies of a breastfed infant a positive experience for both parent and baby.
  • According to many paediatricians, breastfed babies have softer, smoother skins than formula-fed babies. Research has shown that the subcutaneous fat in breast and formula-fed infants has a different composition.
  • Breast milk builds bright brains and healthy bodies – and is valuable to baby's vision! Visual acuity is more advanced in breastfed babies, especially in premature infants. The presence of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA may be a contributing factor since DHA is one of the prime structural components of the retina of the eye.

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