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February 05, 2021
Your due date is around the corner, and you are excited preparing everything for the most important day of your life. Also, your baby’s room is ready, you already have attended a birth prep, and your hospital bag is waiting for you next to the front door. However, you just realize you have no clue about breastfeeding. The only thing you are certain about is that you would like to nurse your baby for at least 6 months. It’s alright! Many things you will learn by doing, and this article will provide you with some key information, that will hopefully guide you along this beautiful journey.
Let’s get started!
Did you know that breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure your child’s long-term health and survival? It is 100% safe, clean and the “ideal” food for meeting the specific needs of your baby. It has the ability to adapt to the different stages of her/his growth and development, while providing nutrients and components with specific functions, as well as nutritional, immune, gastrointestinal and neurological protection. International health organizations highly recommended to exclusively breastfeed for about the first 6 months of your baby’s life with continued breastfeeding while introducing solids for 1-2 year(s) or longer.
The wonders of breast milk.
Learn to read your baby’s feeding cues.
You might be wondering how often you need to nurse your baby. The answer is very simple! It should be "on-demand". This on-demand feeding also called "Responsive Feeding" is very important.
Keep in mind that:
Some last but not less important facts about breastfeeding and breast milk.
The ability to breastfeed and produce this perfect food for your baby called breast milk is a life’s gift. However, you should be aware that the process isn’t always easy, and that there might be situations that may prevent you from exclusively breastfeeding or event from breastfeeding at all. Try your best, look for help if you feel you need it. In many cases the situation can be reverted, but don’t feel guilty if you need to complement or quit breastfeeding. Infant formulas are a great substitute for breast milk and think that more than breast milk your baby needs a happy mom that is there for meeting all her/his essential needs.
Breastfeeding. (2019, 11. November). World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/health-topics/breastfeeding#tab=tab_1
NHS website. (2020, 5. March). Your breastfeeding questions answered. nhs.uk. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/breastfeeding-and-bottle-feeding/breastfeeding/your-questions-answered/
Greer, F. R., Sicherer, S. H. & Burks, A. W. (2019). The Effects of Early Nutritional Interventions on the Development of Atopic Disease in Infants and Children: The Role of Maternal Dietary Restriction, Breastfeeding, Hydrolyzed Formulas, and Timing of Introduction of Allergenic Complementary Foods. Pediatrics, 143 (4), e20190281. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2019-0281
Ballard, O. & Morrow, A. L. (2013). Human Milk Composition. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 60(1), 49–74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pcl.2012.10.002
Breast Milk Macronutrient Components in Prolonged Lactation. (2018, 1. December). PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6316538/
Allen, L. H. (2012). B Vitamins in Breast Milk: Relative Importance of Maternal Status and Intake, and Effects on Infant Status and function. Advances in Nutrition, 3(3), 362–369. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.111.001172
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