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Home > Breast Feeding
Breast Feeding during Preganancy
• Preparing to Breastfeed.. • What affects the content.. • Colostrum
• Transitional Milk • Mature Milk • Breastfeeding methods..
• Advantages of Breast fee.. • How breast feeding affec.. • Bottle Feeding
• Preparing the body for n.. • Weighing the risks • Medication
• Positions for Breast fee.. • Correct Latching • Breastfeeding beyond Inf..
• Monitoring Growth of Chi.. • Feeding of expressed mi.. • Nutrition
• What to Avoid during Bre.. • Infant Allergies & Food ..
Breast Feeding during PreganancyThere is no substitute for human milk. The best food for your baby is your own milk. Your milk ducts start producing milk by the second trimester of pregnancy. Your nipples and the dark colored area around them become more tender and darker than before. The baby`s suckling releases the hormone oxytocin, which causes the small muscle cells within the breasts to contract, thereby squeezing milk from the milk producing cells down the milk ducts towards the sinuses or small sacs near the nipples.

Human milk contains almost all the protein, sugar and fat an infant needs to remain healthy. Consuming human milk endows the baby with great immunological benefits, including antibodies, immune factors, enzymes and white blood cells. These substances protects against a wide variety of illnesses and infections not only when the baby is breastfeeding but also long after the baby has weaned. These benefits cannot be obtained from any other source.

A breastfeeding mother suffering from any illness may pass on the germs of that illness to the infant. Antibodies are also passed on to the infants which may overpower the germs quickly and effectively and probably avoid the disease altogether. This defense against illnesses significantly decreases the chances of the baby from ear infections, vomiting, diarrhea, pneumonia, urinary tract infections or certain types of spinal meningitis. Even infants who are put in crθches, tend to catch more infections due to close proximity, are less likely to become ill if they are breastfeed or bottle fed with expressed breast milk.

Doctors recommend breastfeeding as a way to decrease the chances of food allergies and eczema in families prone to these conditions. The transfer of the mother`s antibodies and other immunologic substances explain why breastfed children are less likely to contract childhood acute leukemia than those who receive formula. Research also indicates that breastfed infants are less likely to be obese later in life, and that breastfed daughters are less likely to develop breast cancer later in life.

The composition of human milk changes over time to meet the child`s need at each stage of development. The first milk you produce after you give birth is called the colostrum, which is low in volume, and high in protein and very easy to digest for a newborn. Researchers have found that immune factors that are present in colostrum guard against invading germs by forming a protective layer on your baby`s mucous membranes in his intestines, nose, and throat.

If you deliver prematurely then your colostrum will contain even more protein and different types of fat, which are essential for premature babies. The colostrum gives way to more mature milk which is of greater volume, lower in protein, and higher in lactose and fat, as required by your infant. The fat content of human milk may change during the course of a single feed, starting out low in fat and increasing until the end of the feed.

The fatty acids found in breast milk facilitate optimal brain development. Research indicates that the IQ of breast fed children is higher than those of formula fed children. The infant also benefits from the physical closeness of the mother. The baby senses the love and protection, and also understands that you are there to take care of his needs. The emotional bond is as vital as the nutritional bond that your baby may receive from you.

Breast milk seems to offer special protection for premature babies. One study found that very low-birth weight babies nourished by breast milk had fewer serious blood infections and meningitis than those given formula. Another study found that preemies given breast milk were less likely to have high blood pressure by the time they were teenagers.

Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding their babies. Nursing promotes relaxation in your body; it also helps to helps your uterus contract back to size after birth, resulting in less postpartum bleeding. Numerous studies have found that the longer women breastfeed, the more they`re protected against breast and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding may protect against osteoporosis later in life.

Sometimes mothers are not in a position to feed breast milk to their infants, feed their infants with formula milk. Formula is prepared by using human milk as the standard including proteins, fats, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals, these substances are sourced from cow`s milk.

The various nutrients that are present in the breast milk are sourced from your body. You need to consume a nutritional diet for that purpose. If you are on a nutrition deficient diet your body will source the nutrients from your reserves. New mothers are recommended to take in calcium and folic acid supplements to replenish their stocks. By and large breast milk is not affected by the medications the mother may be taking.

The infant should latch on to the breasts for proper feeding. The child should not suck on the nipple only; the areola should be fully inserted into his mouth for proper suction. The mother should ensure that the infant is fed from both the breasts to empty herself, other wise she might be inconvenienced by engorged breasts. Changing feeding positions also helps. A mother may suffer from clogged breasts; she may massage the area gently and feed the baby from that particular breast to relieve herself. Breast milk is produced on demand. The more the baby feeds the more milk is produced.

When the mother has to be away from her infant due to her work commitments or other assignments, she needs to feed him expressed bottle milk. For this she can manually or mechanically express milk from her breasts, to be fed when she is away. The milk so expressed is kept in small container and stored in the freezer. The milk is thawed and given to the baby to feed on. The left over thawed milk is discarded once the baby finishes his feed. This way the baby receives the benefits of mother`s milk in the mother`s absence.

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