Breastfeeding is a natural method using which mothers provide their newborns with all the nutrition they need in their first six months of being on this planet. The process has been recommended by the World Health Organisation, which believes breastfeeding is essential for the child’s health and survival. It even helps mothers gain a quicker recovery.
Wondering what some more benefits of breastfeeding your child are? Here are a few:
- Reduces the risk for infections, like those of the ear, respiratory system, and gut.
- Provides better immunity against bacteria and viruses, with the help of the antibodies it contains.
- Brings down the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Lowers the rate of obesity and risk of diabetes in children.
For mothers, the benefits include:
- Better recovery: Breastfeeding enhances oxytocin production, which can eventually help the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size.
- Helps pregnancy weight be lost more quickly.
- Brings down the risk for postpartum depression.
- Reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Before starting to breastfeed, you need to consider a few things:
- You might experience sensations of pain in the first few days of breastfeeding. Things do become better with time. However, if you are not in a position to bear any pain, you might want to reconsider breastfeeding or seek support during the first few days of doing it.
- Since you are the food providing source for your extremely hungry infant, who will be latched onto you for the most of the day, running errands, working, and other tasks might become hard to do.
- Many restrictions regarding what goes inside your systems might apply to you.
- It isn’t easy to measure how much milk is being given to the child when breastfeeding. So you will have to rely on other measures like their weight and wetness of diapers, to know if they are eating well enough.
If you’ve made up your mind, start working with your lactation consultant on how to go about the whole process, from healthily latching your child to checking if the infant is well fed to storing the milk in one go, for later use. No set guide works for all women considering all women have uniquely different bodies, resulting in different lived experiences. So the best idea is to seek help from a professional.
What we can do is give you some tips, in the end, for how to manage sore nipples:
- Start breastfeeding with the least painful nipple.
- Look for bras that offer support and protection to your breasts. Look for comfort.
- Dry your nipples before you put on a bra or a shirt after having fed the child. The moisture from the milk can irritate.
- Ask your doctor to recommend any ointment.
Breastfeeding is nature’s way to help enhance the connection between your infant and you. You learn about the needs of your baby. And the baby learns to reach out to you for nourishment, love, and care. Not to forget how much time both of you will spend together!