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Breastfeeding: Keys and tips

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What is breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is the process by which the mother feeds her newborn through her breasts, which secrete milk.

WHO recommends that breastfeeding is a way of providing an ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process, with significant implications for the health of mothers. As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed during the first six months of life for optimal growth, development and health.

Thereafter, in order to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive adequate and nutritionally safe complementary foods without abandoning breastfeeding until the age of two or later. Exclusive breastfeeding can be practiced from birth, except for some medical conditions, and if practiced without limitations, it leads to abundant milk production.

Breastfeeding is on demand, i.e. there is no regular feeding schedule for babies.

There was a time when it was recommended to breastfeed babies every three hours and ten minutes of each breast, but this advice is outdated, because if the baby can not decide the frequency of their feedings or the duration, surely the result will be a diet that does not meet their needs, with the problems that could lead.

What to eat while breastfeeding?

It has been shown that by taking 150-200 kcal more than recommended, the normal weight is maintained and all the necessary milk is manufactured. Since during pregnancy and lactation, there is a change in metabolism, which favors the use of the food ingested.

These extra calories should not be controlled, for this we should weigh food, but our body is much smarter. It’s automatic, when our caloric needs increase, we get hungrier and eat more.

Protein, lactose, and the amount of fat in breast milk are made in the breast itself, and do not depend on what the mother eats. Instead the composition of these fats, in a small part yes. Therefore, if we eat a diet rich in good fats, this will result in a higher proportion of these in breast milk. But even if this were not so, the composition of milk will remain adequate, since as we have named before, our body is very intelligent.

In conclusion, it is in the interests of a breastfeeding mother to eat healthy, just as it is for a woman who has no children.

What foods are prohibited during breastfeeding?

  • The nursing mother should follow a normal diet.
  • ​​It is not advisable to consume alcohol during breastfeeding, alcohol does not accumulate is blood, that is, you could drink and wait long enough to not have alcohol in the milk and breastfeed the baby, but in this way breastfeeding could not be on demand (you should have milk to give in bottle for example).
  • Many times breastfeeding is abandoned because you have to take some type of medication, you can consult the medications that are suitable on the page www.e-lactancia.org.
  • Do not abuse caffeine, as an excess could cause the baby irritability and nervousness.

What are the benefits of breastfeeding?

For mom:

  1. Better development of the emotional bond.
  2. Lower risk of type II diabetes, anemia, and postpartum depression.
  3. Decreases the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
  4. Easier to recover anatomy and weight before pregnancy.
  5. Protection against postpartum bleeding and osteoporosis.

For baby:

  1. Its composition provides all the nutrients for optimal growth and development.
  2. Provides immune protection. It is known as the FIRST VACCINE.
  3. Easy to digest.
  4. Lower risk of allergies, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cancer.
  5. Better intellectual and motor development compared to non-breastfed children.

How’s my milk?

The first milk that is produced in the first days of childbirth is colostrum, it is a yellow milk, thick and high density in small volume.

It provides a large amount of protective proteins and less lactose, vitamins and fat.

At 5-15 days postpartum increases the production of milk, called transition milk to about 600-800 ml / day.

At 15 days postpartum mature milk contains in its composition more lactose that facilitates the absorption of calcium and iron.

What complications do breastfeeding have?

One of the critical moments in breastfeeding are lactation crises, are stages where the baby needs to breastfeed more to increase milk production, which is usually explained by peaks or growth spurts and that many times mothers, especially if they are new mothers, may think that they do not have enough milk, since the baby demands much more than normal.

Another important point for a breastfeeding with success is a good posture, in many cases due to a bad position can leave cracks and a lot of pain in the breasts due to a greater pressure on the nipple at the outlet, and an ineffective suction, on the other hand very long shots, also if the suction is not good that the baby will be hungry and will be more cranky.

Mastitis is an inflammation in the breast tissue that sometimes involves an infection. Inflammation causes pain, swelling, warmth, and redness in the breasts. Sometimes you may also have fever and chills and if mastitis is not cured properly may arise a breast abscess that is an accumulation of pus that must be cured.

In case of having problems with breastfeeding it can be very useful to go to a breastfeeding group, which are groups where mothers give support and is usually formed by a breastfeeding advisor who can help you with all the doubts you have.

From August 1 to 7, Breastfeeding Week is held that aims to inform people of the importance of protecting breastfeeding, protecting it to improve public health and interact with individuals and organizations for greater impact.

In conclusion, breastfeeding is the ideal food for the baby during the first months of life. However, the last decision to breastfeed is made by the mother, since in some cases it is not desired or can not breastfeed for some medical reason or for a personal decision, in these cases on the market there are many formula milks with a good nutritional composition. And if you want to increase your knowledge do not hesitate to sign up for the course of Pediatric Assistant.

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