Breast Feeding Babies
Breastfeeding is an act of feeding babies, infants and young children with breast milk from the female human breasts instead of from a container or a baby bottle. There is a normal sucking reflex that babies have which allow them to suck and swallow milk from the breast of the mother through a process called lactation. Breastfeeding babies from the mother are supposed to be duration of about six months. This period has also been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and World Health Organisation (WHO). These two organisations have also emphasized the importance of breastfeeding to the mothers as well as for the baby.
The breast milk is the healthiest milk that is needful for a baby. It has been associated with many beneficial effects with few exceptions being on the negative side. Some people have recommended artificial formulas, but these formulas have been shown to be associated with particular set of risks. The healthiest and safest milk to give is the breast milk, which is usually to be given by the mother.
Things to know and do
1. The baby should be at the breast right away after delivery.
The mother and the baby should be left alone for about an hour or one and a half hour. This is because the baby is automatically directed to the mothers breast during this time. They should not be disallowed from having this time together. The mother may complain of tiredness or post labour stress, but this should not be used as an excuse to be with the baby at this time. There have also been reports that skin-to-skin contact between the baby and the mother helps to act as an incubator for the mother.
2. Artificial nipples feeding should be disallowed.
A baby tends to associate more with whatever that gives him or her fast flowing milk or fluid. This means you should not associate your child with artificial nipples, but make sure that he or she becomes familiar with your breast milk. The breast milk is far more safe and healthy than artificial nipples, which may come through formulas gotten from a feeding bottle.
3. Proper latching is crucial.
If you have been told that this is not important, then you might have gotten it all wrong. This is because proper latching is the key to successful breastfeeding. Before you get out of the hospital, make sure you know the regular cycles and patterns that your baby is breastfeeding i.e the open- pause-sucking cycle.
4. Supplements of sugar water, water or formula are rarely required.
Make sure your baby spends more time breastfeeding than getting food from other means. If you have been advised otherwise, then you should see an expert on this. The supplements are rarely needed and more time should be spent on breastfeeding your baby.
Beneficial Effects of Breastfeeding:
1. Prolonged breastfeeding helps protect against childhood leukaemia
Evidences have supported the fact that breastfeeding babies the right duration and period helps protect your baby from the attack of leukaemia rather than breastfeeding for a few months.
2. Higher intelligence
Studies have shown that breastfeeding babies properly and for the expected duration of time is associated with a higher intelligence later on in the life on the individual concerned.
3. Lower incidence of Diabetes
Babies fed properly for the expected duration have been shown to have lesser incidence of developing diabetes mellitus type 1 than those who are fed for a shorter period, or those taking supplements or cow milk early. Breastfeeding babies have also been shown to reduce diabetes mellitus type 2 in some individuals.
4. Less childhood obesity
Breastfeeding babies for the required time helps reduce obesity in children aged between 39 to 42 months. Those taking milk or fluids from bottles have higher tendency of emptying bottles than those being breastfed. This is because those who are breastfed develop a self-regulation of milk intake, while those taking milk from bottles tend to finish their bottles before letting go of it.
5. Lower tendency to develop allergies
Exclusive breastfeeding for about 4 months helps prevent or delay development of allergies in children. This means that the mother should ensure that their baby is properly breasfed for the required time.
6. Breastfeeding babies also promote health and it helps prevent disease.
This is because breast milk contains various anti-infective factors such as immunoglobulin A, lactoferrin and bile salt stimulated lipase.
7. Breastfeeding babies also prevent lymphoma from developing in an individual hat was properly fed.
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