Breastfeeding Your Baby Has Several Benefits
The preferred or recommended method of feeding a newborn baby is breast. Infant formulas have been produced and are constantly improved upon to provide all the nutrients an infant needs for the first year of life. However, there is nothing more nutritious for an infant than mother’s milk.
Although breastfeeding is natural to both mother and baby, it is not always easy and sometimes the mother is unable to nurse her infant at all. It is not known whether a woman will be successful until she has tried. Even if the mother is only able to nurse for the first few days or weeks of life, these can be the most important and a woman should not give up easily. Mother’s milk carries antibodies and necessary nutrients that have been found to help the babies’ immune system and protect them from allergies.
During the first few days of nursing the mothers body produces colostrums for her baby. This is a sort of an almost clear liquid that is the most nutritious milk. If you are only able to nurse for a short time your baby will benefit from a small amount of these nutrients. There’s no shame in using a bottle and formula in order to get back to work or if you have decided breastfeeding your baby is not for you. But if you can give your infant even just a few days of nursing, he/she will benefit for life.
If you have decided to breastfeed your baby there’s no need to offer a bottle. However, nursing mothers offer their babies a bottle for different reasons. If your baby refuses a bottle you will not be able to leave him/her with a sitter or other parent. Often breastfed babies will refuse to drink from a bottle and this means that you will be the only one that can feed the baby until solids are introduced. Let me tell you, this can be very exhausting because nursing babies are usually fed on demand not on a schedule as with a bottle. A baby bottle doesn’t have to mean formula, you can pump breast milk and freeze it to use for babysitters or nighttime feedings.
Many factors will affect your ability to produce milk but the size of your breasts or nipples have nothing to do with it. There are things you should do to ensure you are producing as much milk as your baby needs and of course this need will grow as baby grows. The hospital should have a lactation expert that can visit with you during your stay and help you get started.
Breastfeeding problems, such as milk production can occur and often do, especially when the baby goes through a growth spurt. There are steps you will need to take in order to ensure you can provide as much milk as your baby needs to grow properly.
Make sure your get plenty of rest, drink a lot of fluids, preferably milk and water, and avoid alcoholic beverages.
Follow these basic tips and when you have concerns or questions you can find free information by visiting: (this is the website for the nursing mothers counsel). You can also find a local organization just like this one for help and support or talk to your child’s pediatrician.