Breastfeeding is a feeding method that fosters bonding between mother and infant. Breastfeeding has many benefits to the newborn that continue even into adulthood.
Benefits of breastfeeding for Mom and Baby
- Helps decrease the incidence of common childhood diseases and infections, such as ear infections and respiratory syncytial virus(RSV)
- May enhance mental development
- Fewer developments of allergies
- Enhances jaw development
- Decreases risk of postpartum hemorrhage
- Decreases risk of breast cancer
- Promotes mother's return to pre-pregnancy weight
- Delays fertility
- Saves money
- Promotes bonding between Mom and Baby
- Reinforces Mother's caregiving role
- Naturally induces contraction of the uterus that returns it to pre-pregnancy size
- Reduces risk of hemorrhage
Cons to formula
- Lack of antibodies can lead to illnesses/infections
- Time consuming, e.g., preparation and sterilization of bottles
- Is inferior nutrition
- Increased risk for Baby of many health problems later in life including obesity and diabetes
- Greater risk of contamination
Positioning is important because it encourages an accurate latch-on, and ensures comfort for both mother and baby. Skin to skin contact also facilitates proper feeding. Positions include football or clutch hold, cradle, across-the-lap, and side-lying.
To promote a proper latch-on, brush the infant's cheek to encourage a wide-open mouth. The infant's mouth should cover the majority of the areola of the breast.
Initial feeding may be quite often; mothers should become aware of their infants pattern.
Breastfeeding requires patience, persistence, and support.
- Lactation Consultants are certified specialists, usually nurses, who promote its benefits, provide breastfeeding education, conduct support groups, provide one-to-one visits, and encourage and support the mother through problems such as engorgement and latch-on issues.
- La Leche League an international organization with an aim to promote breastfeeding and provide education. With 3000 local groups, La Leche League provides support, education, and shares their experiences.
- breastfeeding.com facts, books, pumps, and clothing
www.breastfeeding.com, www.lalecheleague.org, Lowdermilk D.L., Perry S.E. (2004). Maternity & Women's Health Care, St.