What is breastfeeding exactly?
as a new mums I believe that there will be a lot of informations need to be learn.
Breastfeeding is a process by mother's breast milk fed to a child. Breast milk may be from the breast, or may be expressed by hand or pumped and fed to the infant.
Myth #1: Breastfeeding is easy and natural.
Breastfeeding is a natural process, but it's not always easy.
This myth is not entirely true for every mother and baby. While breastfeeding is a natural process, it does not necessarily come easily to every mother and baby pair. Many mothers experience difficulties with breastfeeding and require support and guidance to establish and maintain successful breastfeeding. Some common challenges with breastfeeding include:
- Latching difficulties: Getting the baby to latch on to the breast properly can be a challenge for some mothers and babies. This can result in nipple pain and soreness for the mother, as well as poor milk transfer for the baby.
- Low milk supply: Some mothers may struggle with producing enough milk to meet their baby's needs. This can result in poor weight gain for the baby and can be a source of stress for the mother.
- Engorgement and mastitis: These are conditions that can occur when the breasts become overfull and can be very painful for the mother.
- Sore or cracked nipples: These can be a result of poor latching or an incorrect breastfeeding technique, and can be very painful for the mother.
- Health conditions: Certain health conditions, such as flat or inverted nipples, can make breastfeeding more challenging for some mothers.
Myth #2: After giving birth, the mother and newborn should be separated so that the mother can rest.
This myth is not supported by current research and is actually quite harmful to both the mother and newborn. Skin-to-skin contact between the mother and newborn immediately after birth is highly recommended by healthcare professionals, as it has many benefits for both the mother and baby. Some benefits of skin-to-skin contact include:
- Promotes breastfeeding: Skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth has been shown to promote successful breastfeeding and improve the baby's ability to latch on to the breast.
- Regulates baby's temperature: Skin-to-skin contact helps to regulate the baby's body temperature and prevents hypothermia.
- Reduces stress: Skin-to-skin contact has been shown to reduce stress in both the mother and baby, as it promotes the release of hormones that promote bonding and relaxation.
- Reduces risk of infection: Skin-to-skin contact has been shown to reduce the risk of infection for the baby.
- Enhances maternal-infant bonding: Skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth enhances maternal-infant bonding and increases the likelihood of successful breastfeeding in the long-term.
Separating the mother and newborn after birth can lead to feelings of anxiety and distress for both, and can have negative impacts on breastfeeding and bonding. Instead, healthcare professionals recommend promoting early skin-to-skin contact between the mother and newborn and supporting the mother in caring for her baby while also ensuring she gets adequate rest and support.
Myth #3: Colostrum is a thick, yellow milk that is produced shortly after birth and must be discarded as it is harmful to the baby.
This myth is completely false. Colostrum is the first milk produced by a mother's breasts, and it is extremely important for a newborn's health and well-being. Colostrum is a thick, yellowish fluid that is high in protein, antibodies, and other essential nutrients. It is produced in small amounts, but is all a newborn baby needs in the first few days of life.
- Colostrum is often referred to as "liquid gold" because of its many benefits for a newborn. Some of these benefits include:
- Boosts the immune system: Colostrum is packed with antibodies that help to protect the baby from infections and illnesses. These antibodies help to kick-start the baby's immune system and provide vital protection in the first few days of life.
- Promotes digestion: Colostrum is high in protein and other nutrients that are easily digestible for a newborn's immature digestive system. It helps to promote healthy gut flora and encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the baby's digestive tract.
- Regulates blood sugar: Colostrum helps to regulate a newborn's blood sugar levels and prevent hypoglycemia, which can be a common problem in the first few days of life.
- Promotes bonding: The act of breastfeeding and providing colostrum promotes bonding between the mother and baby, which is essential for a newborn's emotional and social development.
It is important for new mothers to understand the benefits of colostrum and to breastfeed their newborns as soon as possible after birth. Colostrum is not harmful to the baby, but rather provides vital nutrients and antibodies that are essential for a newborn's health and well-being.
Myth #4: Not all mothers have enough breast milk to breastfeed.
This myth is not entirely true. While it is true that some mothers may struggle with low milk supply, the vast majority of women are capable of producing enough breast milk to successfully breastfeed their baby. In fact, breast milk production is based on supply and demand, which means that the more a baby nurses, the more milk a mother's body will produce.
It is important to note that there are certain medical conditions and factors that can impact a mother's milk supply, such as hormonal imbalances, breast surgery, or certain medications. However, these cases are relatively rare and can usually be managed with the help of a healthcare professional.
If a mother is concerned about her milk supply, there are steps she can take to boost milk production, such as:
- Breastfeeding frequently: The more a baby nurses, the more milk a mother's body will produce. It is recommended to nurse at least 8-12 times per day in the first few weeks of life.
- Ensuring proper latch: A proper latch is important for milk transfer and milk production. If a baby is not latching correctly, it can impact milk supply.
- Staying hydrated: Drinking plenty of water and fluids is important for milk production.
- Getting enough rest: Rest is important for milk production, so it is important for new mothers to take care of themselves and get enough sleep.
- Seeking support: If a mother is struggling with breastfeeding or concerned about her milk supply, she should seek support from a healthcare professional or lactation consultant.
It is important for mothers to understand that they are capable of producing enough milk to breastfeed their baby, and to seek support and guidance if they are experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding.
Myth #5: Do not breastfeed if you are sick or taking medication.
This myth is not entirely true. In most cases, it is safe for a mother to breastfeed her baby even if she is sick or taking medication. In fact, breastfeeding can provide important immune protection to the baby, as the mother's body will produce antibodies to help fight off the illness.
However, there are some medications that can be harmful to the baby if passed through breast milk, so it is important for a mother to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication while breastfeeding. There may be alternative medications that are safe for breastfeeding or a healthcare professional may recommend that the mother temporarily pause breastfeeding or pump and discard milk during the medication course.
Some illnesses, such as certain viral infections or tuberculosis, may require a mother to temporarily stop breastfeeding to avoid passing the infection on to the baby. In most cases, however, a mother can continue to breastfeed while sick or taking medication as long as she takes appropriate precautions and consults with a healthcare professional.
It is important for mothers to communicate with their healthcare provider to understand the risks and benefits of breastfeeding while sick or taking medication. In most cases, continuing to breastfeed is safe and can provide important benefits for the baby's health and development.
Myth #6: Giving your newborn milk is good for the stomach and helps him fall asleep.
This myth is not entirely true. While it is true that newborns need to eat frequently and may fall asleep after feeding, it is not necessarily true that giving a baby milk will help them sleep better or settle their stomach. In fact, overfeeding a baby can actually cause discomfort and digestive issues such as reflux, gas, and bloating.
Newborns have small stomachs and need to eat frequently, so it is important to feed them on demand and not restrict their feeding times. However, it is also important to pay attention to the baby's feeding cues and not force-feed them more than they need. Overfeeding can cause discomfort and digestive issues for the baby.
It is also important to note that feeding should not be used as a sleep aid. While it is common for newborns to fall asleep after feeding, it is important to ensure that they are awake and actively feeding during each feeding session to ensure they are getting enough milk and to prevent issues such as weight gain and low milk supply.
It is also important for parents to develop healthy sleep habits with their newborn, such as establishing a consistent sleep routine and ensuring that the baby is put down to sleep in a safe sleeping environment. A healthcare professional can provide guidance on safe sleep practices for newborns.
In summary, while feeding a newborn is important for their health and development, overfeeding and using feeding as a sleep aid should be avoided to prevent digestive issues and establish healthy sleep habits.
Myth #7: Babies have to be trained early. Nursing and holding make them clingy.
This myth is not true. Babies are not capable of being "spoiled" or "clingy" in the sense that it is often used. In fact, research has shown that responding to a baby's needs for comfort, including nursing and holding, can actually lead to greater independence and confidence later in life.
Babies rely on their caregivers for comfort and security, and it is important for parents to respond to their baby's needs for comfort, including nursing and holding, in a timely and responsive manner. This can help the baby to feel secure and develop trust in their caregiver.
While it is true that some babies may develop a preference for nursing or being held, this does not mean that they are "clingy" or that their behavior needs to be corrected. In fact, research has shown that responding to a baby's needs for comfort can actually promote independence and confidence later in life.
It is important for parents to establish a balance between responding to their baby's needs for comfort and promoting healthy development and independence. This may involve gradually introducing the baby to new experiences and encouraging exploration and independence, while also being responsive to their needs for comfort and security.
In summary, responding to a baby's needs for comfort, including nursing and holding, is important for promoting their healthy development and should not be avoided or discouraged for fear of making them "clingy."
Myth #8: It is normal for breastfeeding to be painful. Nipple pain is inevitable.
This myth is not true. While it is common for breastfeeding mothers to experience some discomfort or soreness in the early days of breastfeeding, ongoing or severe nipple pain is not normal and can be a sign of a problem that needs to be addressed.
Breastfeeding should not be painful for the mother. Some mothers may experience mild discomfort or soreness in the first few days or weeks of breastfeeding as their nipples adjust to the baby's latch and sucking, but this should subside as breastfeeding becomes established.
Pain or discomfort during breastfeeding can be caused by a variety of factors, including an improper latch, tongue or lip tie, engorgement, mastitis, or thrush. These issues can be addressed through proper positioning and latch techniques, seeking help from a lactation consultant, and treating any underlying medical conditions.
It is important for mothers to seek support and guidance from a lactation consultant or healthcare provider if they are experiencing ongoing or severe nipple pain during breastfeeding. Left untreated, nipple pain can lead to a decrease in milk supply and a negative impact on both the mother and baby's breastfeeding experience.
In summary, while it is common to experience some discomfort or soreness in the early days of breastfeeding, ongoing or severe nipple pain is not normal and can be a sign of a problem that needs to be addressed. Seeking support and guidance from a lactation consultant or healthcare provider can help to identify and address the underlying issue and promote a positive breastfeeding experience for both the mother and baby.