"I CAN CONFIDENTLY SAY THAT NURSING
MY CHILDREN WAS THE MOST DEEPLY SATISFYING EXPERIENCE IN MY ENTIRE
New parents want to give their babies the
very best. When it comes to nutrition, the best first food for babies
is breast milk.
Breast milk is the normal food for
babies; God designed babies to need breast milk. Breastfeeding helps
babies grow strong physically and emotionally. Human milk contains at
least 100 ingredients not found in formula. No babies are allergic to
their mother's milk, although they may have a reaction to something the
mother eats. If she eliminates it from her diet, the problem resolves
Breast-feeding is good for new mothers as
well as for their babies. There are no bottles to sterilize and no
formula to buy, measure and mix. It may be easier for a nursing mother
to lose the pounds of pregnancy as well, since nursing uses up extra
calories. Lactation also stimulates the uterus to contract back to its
original size. A nursing mother is forced to get needed rest. She must
sit down, put her feet up and relax every few hours to nurse. Nursing
at night is easy as well. No one has to stumble to the refrigerator for
a bottle and warm it while the baby cries. If she's lying down, a
mother can doze while she nurses.
I have listed
below some of the reasons why mothers opt to nurse:
- Breast milk has immune system boosting ingredients including
antibodies from the mother that help prevent and minimize many
- Breast milk
is the best fluid for baby when sickness occurs – breast milk is a
clear fluid which contains nutrients and active immunities to help
fight the sickness; it digests easily and quickly; and nursing provides
helps prevent children from developing allergies (especially if they
are exclusively breastfed for the first six months), asthma, eczema and
- Baby cannot
be allergic to his mommy's milk
Breastfeeding helps protect children from getting ear infections.
- Milk supplied directly from the
breast is free of bacteria and is always "just right" for your baby
- Wherever mom goes, sweet, warm, fresh
breast milk is ready immediately
Breastfeeding provides a wonderful way to calm and comfort a fussy baby
- It's a wonderful time to
hold and be close to your child
Breastfeeding helps protect moms from getting osteoporosis, ovarian
cancer, cervical cancer and breast cancer (studies have shown that the
longer a mom breastfeeds throughout her life, the lower her chances of
getting breast cancer)
Tips for Breast-Feeding Success
for a woman who wants to breastfeed to learn as much about it as
possible before delivery, while she is not exhausted from caring for an
infant around-the-clock. The following tips can help foster successful
- Get an
Nursing should begin within an
hour after delivery if possible, when an infant is awake and the
sucking instinct is strong. Even though the mother won't be producing
milk yet, her breasts contain colostrum, a thin fluid that contains
antibodies to disease.
The baby's mouth should be wide
open, with the nipple as far back into his or her mouth as possible.
This minimizes soreness for the mother. A nurse, midwife, or other
knowledgeable person (lactation specialist) can help her find a
comfortable nursing position.
Nurse on demand:
Newborns need to nurse
frequently, at least every two hours, and not on any strict schedule.
This will stimulate the mother's breasts to produce plenty of milk.
Later, the baby can settle into a more predictable routine. But because
breast milk is more easily digested than formula, breast-fed babies
often eat more frequently than bottle-fed babies.
Nursing babies don't need sugar
water or formula supplements. These may interfere with their appetite
for nursing, which can lead to a diminished milk supply. The more the
baby nurses, the more milk the mother will produce.
It's best to wait a week
or two before introducing a pacifier, so that the baby doesn't get
confused. Artificial nipples require a different sucking action than
real ones. Sucking at a bottle could also confuse some babies in the
early days. They, too, are learning how to breast-feed.
- Air dry:
In the early postpartum period or until her nipples toughen,
the mother should air dry them after each nursing to prevent them from
cracking, which can lead to infection. If her nipples do crack, the
mother can coat them with breast milk or other natural moisturizers to
help them heal. Vitamin E oil and lanolin are commonly used, although
some babies may have allergic reactions to them. Proper positioning at
the breast can help prevent sore nipples. If the mother's very sore,
the baby may not have the nipple far enough back in his or her mouth.
- Watch for
Symptoms of breast infection
include fever and painful lumps and redness in the breast. These
require immediate medical attention.
A new mother usually
produces lots of milk, making her breasts big, hard and painful for a
few days. To relieve this engorgement, she should feed the baby
frequently and on demand until her body adjusts and produces only what
the baby needs. In the meantime, the mother can take over-the-counter
pain relievers, apply warm, wet compresses to her breasts and take warm
baths to relieve the pain.
Eat right, get rest:
To produce plenty of
good milk, the nursing mother needs a balanced diet that includes 500
extra calories a day and six to eight glasses of fluid. She should also
rest as much as possible to prevent breast infections, which are
aggravated by fatigue.