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The Joys of Breastfeeding

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Breastfeeding is perfect for the young, on the go, busy new mom!!! Breastmilk is always fresh & warm, always nutritious, always ready, and always available! It takes less effort, very little planning and happens quite naturally!!!

Breastfeeding is an awesome way to go, if you are busy with a full schedule at school and work. At the end of your day you are going to be tired. Washing and sterilizing bottles and mixing formula is going to seem less than romantic. Many schools and businesses now offer onsite daycare allowing easy access for the breastfeeding mother to meet the needs of her new infant while meeting the demands of an education and workplace.

Breastfeeding offers much convenience to the new mother. There are many new products that have been developed to help a breastfeeding mom feed her baby discreetly in public or on the job.

* The popular baby sling both snuggles your baby close to you and provides discreet coverage for your baby as it nurses within. These are designed similiar to the slings that have been used by mothers in other countries for hundreds of years. They slide over your head and shoulder and the wide cloth offers great support to your back as well. The sling also frees up your hands for other tasks while allowing your baby to sleep in a natural position laying down, rather than sitting upright.

* The breasfeeding apron has a neck loop that slips over your head similiar to an old fashioned cooks' apron and spreads out over the front of you and your baby effectively blocking the breastfeeding activities from public view without restricting air flow beneath the apron.

* Loose flowing blouses can easily be lifted enough for your baby to latch on and still have enough material to drape around your baby to conceal the breastfeeding.

* Nursing bras and shirts are available in many styles these creatively offer ease of breastfeeding without lifting your shirt or exposing more of yourself than is necessary. There are many fine maternity stores available on the internet for styles that appeal to teens and older moms. You can find many styles in maternity and breastfeeding clothing for both work and play. THESE ARE NOT THE CLOTHES YOUR MOTHER WORE!!!

Breastfeeding can be very rewarding for a young mother and her new baby. The love and warmth that sweeps over you as you nurse your baby can not be duplicated by anything else, it is truly a unique and special time between moms and their baby! Babies often smile at their mother while nursing as she gazes with wonder at the little miracle she has borne from her own body. Your baby will hold on to you with thier tiny hands reassured that they are safe and nurtured. These are all natural feelings that help to alleviate those worries and jitters that first-time mother have often pondered in the previous 9 months.

Breastfeeding is a natural occurance that your body handles quite efficiently on its own. You are an incredible milk factory! There are a few unique things your body does while breastfeeding...

Your body has its own milk quality and quantity control department that adjusts automatically to the needs of your individual baby!

As your new baby begins nursing just moments after birth your body begins to provide colostrum to your breasts. Colostrum is only available for a few short days and is extremely important! First, it is very high in calories providing lots of energy for warmth and growth to your newborn as your baby's body adjusts to life outside the womb. Secondly, the colostrum is packed full of antibodies, which give your newborn immunities to germs and illnesses that you have been exposed to in your enviroment. This ensures that your baby can remain healthy in the enviroment into which it is born. Colostrum also has other benefits that are just beginning to be recognized by science. For instance if your baby receives your colostrum it is less likely to suffer from things like allergies, asthma, ear infections, exzcema and other common ailments. These are all very good reasons to breastfeed your baby at least for the duration of your hospital/birthing center stay. Continuing breastfeeding for at least 3 days will give your baby all those wonderful benefits! Some mothers worry at this early stage that they are not producing enough milk since hardly anything comes out, but infact, for the first couple of days milk is usually not yet present as the colostrum is being produced. Because colostrum is so high in fat and calories small quantities are sufficient for your baby.

Your milk will appear around the 3rd day. When your baby cries you will feel a sensation similiar to warm water being poured over your shoulders and this is the milk "COMING IN". It is a feeling you will become very familiar with over the next year. This "let down" (because it letsdown your milk to fill your breasts) reflex will respond sometimes moments BEFORE your baby cries! This is part of that automatic system I mentioned earlier. Your body has syncronized its timing of milk production to the schedule of demand that your baby has created by nursing when it is hungry.

*** A breastfed baby should NOT be nursed on a SET schedule as this disrupts the automatic system that is in place to make sure your baby gets the right amount of milk.***

As the baby nurses more often when it needs more milk, this in turn causes your body to produce a larger volume of milk. When the baby receives the volume of milk it needs then it will nurse less often, thereby adjusting automatically the amounts of milk that your body provides for the individual needs of your baby that day, week, or month based on the rate of growth of your baby as it changes. Your breast milk alone can completely sustain your baby for the full first year!!! Breast fed babies often go right from the breast to cups and plates. This is very economical for the very young family who is just starting out as infant formula and baby food is very expensive and much less nutritious than breastmilk.

Breast milk is different from formula in a few important ways. First, breastmilk has smaller more easily digestable protien molecules. Therefore very few breastfed babies have any digestive troubles or allergies common to bottlefed babies using infant formula made from cow or soy milk which contain larger protien molecules difficult for a baby to digest. Formulas often cause gas and colic (pain & excessive crying) particularly because of this protien sensitivity. Second, breastmilk is very sweet, containing a large amount of lactose sugar to a degree that breastmilk takes on a candy sweetness that is very appealing to your baby's tastebuds! On the contrary, baby formulas tend to lack this sweetness and have a bland or bitter taste which is one reason why it is difficult to convince a breastfed baby to drink a bottle of formula when mom is away. So, it is a great idea to pump some of your breastmilk and store it in bottle bags in the freezer for use in a bottle on those occassions when you must be away from your baby. Thirdly, your breast milk is always the right temperature so you do not risk burning your baby's mouth with an overheated bottle, nor does your baby have to wait in hunger while you warm a bottle. Fourthly, and most amazingly, your body produces an oil that disinfects your nipples and keeps them bacteria free! They are naturally sterilized! How cool is that?! Soap is not necessary on your nipples which causes them to dry or crack and get sore. Clean warm water and this natural oil is all you need to keep your nipples clean, moisturized and soft.

Breastfeeding on the go is very convenient. Finding a quiet bench at the park, in the mall, at work or school is common, even while walking from location to location offers opportunity to feed your baby. You will come to enjoy these little breaks with your baby.

Breastfeeding "ease of use" really comes into play during the night. Bottle feeding moms are getting out of bed at 2 am, shuffling half awake to the kitchen to mix bottles, you are lying cozy in bed, when feeding time arrives you simple lift your baby from the cradle right next to you and snuggle the baby against your body in the general direction of your breast and your baby has little to no trouble taking care of the rest of the feeding activities. Often you and your baby doze while participating in the feeding time hardly disrupting your sleep at all. Because your "let down" reflex, (that warm running water sensation you get just before the milk arrives in your breasts) often lets you know your baby is about to be hungry, you have the opportunity to provide nourishment BEFORE your baby cries, therefore a breastfed baby is happier and more content with life than a bottlefed baby.


Place your infant across your belly slightly on his or her side so that they can reach your nipple without having to turn their head. Take your breast between your fingers and thumb and squeeze gently to make breast firmer to put it more easily into your baby's mouth. Your baby has an instinctive sense of smell and direction and will already be rooting around with its head and mouth trying to latch on to your nipple. You want to make sure that you get as much of the dark area around your nipple into the babies mouth, as it is the compression of this dark area that releases the milk. If your baby sucks on only the nipple, your nipple will get very sore as the baby sucks harder and harder in his or her attempt to get milk. The baby must compress as much of the dark area around your nipple as will fit into his or her mouth in order to release the milk. Once the baby latches on you let your baby nurse for as long as it wishes. DO NOT "Time" your baby. When your baby is full it will fall asleep and you can then insert your finger in the corner of his or her mouth to release the suction and remove the baby from your breast. The reason you let your baby nurse as long as possible is because your milk at first has a high water content, this is to rapidly hydrate your baby with the fluids it needs, then as the baby continues to nurse the milk begins to thicken as your body adds more fat to the milk providing your baby with the calories it needs for warmth and growth. Feed your baby as often as it desires to make sure your body produces the quantity of milk your baby needs.

Alternate breastfeeding from one breast to the other at alternate feedings. This helps prevent plugged milk ducts and more evenly sized breasts. Some moms pin a baby pin on their shirt on the side they last nursed to help them remember to nurse the other breast at the next feeding, then switch the pin when finished to the otherside of the shirt and so on.

There are some difficulties that can arise while breastfeeing. The most common being tender or sore nipples. This is common during the initial start of breastfeeding a newborn. Your nipples are often not accustomed to the friction of being erect against your bras, and clothing, as well as the suction, friction and rubbing during nursing. You can avoid some of this discomfort by going without your bra for longer and longer time periods before your baby's birth. This will assist in toughening the skin of your nipples. If you have a partner, husband or similiar, he can assist you by handling your nipples more frequently or getting them used to the suction action. (However, I assure you, a man has nothing on a baby when it comes to sheer suction power! Your baby will astound you with his or her latch on power!) You can also rub them roughly yourself to help toughen them.

This brings us to another cause of sore and tender nipples. Many inexperienced first time mothers do not know how to "release" their now sleeping baby from thier breast. If you just "PULL" your baby off you can injure yourself and make your breast too sore to nurse at the next feeding. The proper way to release the suction to remove your baby from your breast is to gently insert your finger at the corner of your baby's mouth thereby releasing the suction and the baby can be comfortably and easily removed from the breast.

Nipples do occasionally become chapped, if you do not tend to this matter they will start to crack and bleed just as do severely chapped lips. This can make breastfeeding very uncomfortable, so you should tend to them right away. As we discussed earlier, do not wash them with soap! If they do become chapped a dab of olive oil can be soothing and will not hurt your baby. Do not use vasoline! This is a petroleum product and is not healthy.

Another pitfall of breastfeeding is the "plugged" milk duct which can become mastitis if it gets out of hand. A plugged milk duct will start out making your breast very tender on one side, as the milk in that duct begins to back up it will make a firm hard, sometimes light reddish "line" from the fatty area of your breast heading toward the nipple. When you press on the line it will feel hard and will be very tender. At this point you need all that "suction power" we talked about earlier to help correct the situation. Should you get a plugged duct you should nurse only on the plugged breast until the duct releases and becomes untender. (you will have to use a breast pump or hand express the milk from the other side during this time). The baby's suction can usually unplug the duct within a day or two. Some moms find that bras cause these plugged ducts and avoid them by not wearing bras and just doubling their shirts (wearing 2 at a time) for modesty.

I hope that you have found this artical to be both helpful and useful and that you will enjoy your new baby and the breastfeeding experience. Breastfeeding is a great choice!


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