What are the benefits of breastfeeding for the child?
Breast milk is the ideal food for infants.
It contains the right mix of vitamins, proteins and fats. This liquid is easier to digest than artificial milk.
Among the benefits is that breast milk contains antibodies that help the child fight viruses and bacteria.
The mother should continue breastfeeding even if she has a fever.
Breastfeeding reduces the child’s risk of developing asthma or allergies.
In addition, children who are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months (without milk powder) are less prone to inflammation of the ears (otitis), respiratory diseases and attacks of diarrhea.
This is especially important for premature babies, who are more susceptible to infections.
Some studies indicate that breastfeeding is associated with higher IQ scores during childhood.
In addition, physical closeness, skin and eye contact help the child to build a special bond with the mother and to feel safe.
Breastfed children tend to be at the right weight during growth and are less overweight.
It is said that breastfeeding prevents sudden infant death syndrome.
If too much milk forms in the breast, the mother can suck off the excess with a breast pump.
How often should you breastfeed?
There is no rule here. The infant feeds according to his feeling of hunger, usually at about 8 milk meals a day, but it can also be more or less.
Are there any benefits for the mother when breastfeeding?
- Breastfeeding helps you lose weight because you burn a lot of calories. So it can help to lose the weight gained during pregnancy.
- Releasing the hormone oxytocin causes the uterus to return to the size it was before pregnancy and can reduce uterine bleeding after birth.
- Breastfeeding significantly reduces the likelihood that the mother will develop osteoporosis and many types of tumors such as breast cancer, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer or endometriosis.
- Mothers must breastfeed immediately after delivery, because this helps the uterus to contract and return easily and quickly to its pre-pregnancy starting position.
- Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of bleeding after childbirth.
In case of chest pain and discharge of blood from the nipple, breastfeeding should continue with one side of the breast, but a doctor’s visit is important to clarify the cause of the problem.
Blisters can form in the breast, which arise as a result of a milk duct closure.
If the mother has a very large breast, she can support it with one hand during breastfeeding to help the child.
Will my breast make enough milk?
In the first few days after birth, the breast forms a “first milk” called colostrum.
The colostrum is thick and yellowish, but completely satisfies the nutritional needs of the child.
The colostrum helps the development of the infant’s digestive tract and prepares him to digest breast milk.
Most children lose weight easily in the first 3-5 days after birth. This is not related to breastfeeding.
If the child needs more milk, the breast produces correspondingly more milk.
Breast milk is also sufficient for twins.
Experts recommend breastfeeding exclusively at the mother’s breast for six months (without powdered milk, juices or water).
If the mother additionally feeds milk powder, the breast could produce less milk.
Breastfeeding for less than six months is better than not breastfeeding at all.
You can feed solid foods as soon as the child is 6 months old, but to continue to produce milk, you need to continue breastfeeding.
Sometimes, however, insufficient milk production can lead to malnutrition in the child.
In these cases, a milk mixture may be required: breast milk and milk powder.
The mother is often worried if the child does not burp after drinking. But it can be completely reassured, because this is not necessary for digestion.
If the child swallows air, the cause may be insufficient contact with the areola.
A hiccup can be caused by drinking too quickly.
Why does the mother have little milk?
Reduced milk production can occur temporarily if the mother does not feed the child adequately, often due to pain in the nipple or because she does not put the child on properly.
A disease or oral contraceptives containing estrogens could also affect milk production.
In some women, special biological or physical circumstances (such as a hormonal disorder or breast surgery) may reduce milk production.
For most women, the real problem is not milk production, but giving the milk to the child.
The women produce a lot of milk, but for certain reasons (for example, because the child is not properly laid), the infant does not receive enough milk.
How to tell if the child is drinking enough milk
The mother should always breastfeed when the child is hungry. However, the following should always be borne in mind:
The child gains about 30 g per day for the first three months and about 15 g per day between the 3rd and 6th month.
Usually, children lose weight slightly in the first days after birth.
Between the 10th and 14th day after birth, the child should have regained his birth weight. Weight gain is the best proof that the child is drinking enough milk.
In the first month, the child has bowel movements at least three times a day, which becomes lighter and mustard-colored from the fifth day after birth.
After the first month, bowel movements occur less frequently. Some children don’t have a bowel movement at all for a day or two.
The child drinks milk frequently (every two or three hours), in total there will be eight milk meals a day, for which it is best to set predetermined times.
You can hear the child swallowing and sometimes see the milk in the corners of the mouth.
The child appears healthy and active.
The child consumes 7 or 8 diapers a day or 5 to 6 disposable diapers.
The disposable diapers absorb more liquid and you can hardly tell if they are wet or not.
To determine whether the child has peed, one can compare the weight of the used diaper with an unused diaper.
A wet diaper is slightly heavier.
Aesthetic breast surgery
After a breast augmentation, the mother can continue breastfeeding, while breastfeeding after a breast reduction is more difficult.
Lazy Drinking Infant
If the child falls asleep during breastfeeding and sucks little, it is recommended to squeeze or massage the breast so that the milk can come out more easily.
If the infant is lazy to drink and does not wake up often enough, he should be woken up to breastfeed.
Colic of the infant
If the infant has colic, the cause could be an allergy to the milk protein, an intestinal obstruction, a hernia, etc.
One should consult the doctor to clarify the disorder, but it is better to continue breastfeeding.
Constipation Rarely, the infant suffers from constipation
, but it can happen that the bowel movement becomes difficult because the sphincter of the anus does not relax.
in infants is common and physiological. However, if the child suffers from it, it is advisable to repeat the meal more often, but for a shorter period of time.
What should you eat? Maternal nutrition
a lot During this phase, it is important to drink plenty of water.
During childbirth, the body loses a lot of water and the mother has increased thirst.
A lot of calories are needed
A nutritious diet is important for mothers who are breastfeeding and therefore an integral part of their diet. A nursing mother consumes 500 calories a day to produce the milk for the child.
Iron and folic acid
Eating foods high in iron and vitamin B9 is an essential part of the diet during lactation. Folic acid is a vital nutrient for the development of the child’s nervous system.
What should you eat to multiply breast milk?
To multiply the milk, you should eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.
to avoid Some types of foods (such as spicy or flatulent foods) change the taste of milk.
Foods and substances that should be avoided because they can irritate the child include:
- Alcohol and tobacco smoke.
- Spicy food. Children show reactions or symptoms to some spicy foods that change the taste of milk. One should therefore avoid too spicy and gas-developing foods, because the child could complain about it or develop flatulence.
- Cakes and highly sweetened foods are unhealthy and not very nutritious for the mother.
- Sparkling water contains a very high proportion of sodium, which can be harmful to the child’s digestion. Therefore, you should avoid sparkling water.
How long should you breastfeed?
The period of weaning is different for each mother and her child.
- Maternal instinct. A mother has a kind of sixth sense that often tells her why the child cries as long as he or she cannot speak.
This instinct also tells when the right moment has come to wean.
Usually breastfeeding for 6-12 months, but some women continue breastfeeding after one year and extend up to 2-3 years, but still add food.
If breastfeeding is stopped, parents give the child a pacifier to wean him gradually.
- Problems with teething. One of the best times to stop breastfeeding is when the child gets his milk teeth.
Usually, girls start teething at the sixth month, and boys from the tenth month.
- Preference for solid food. As the child grows up, one could start feeding solid and semi-solid foods such as milk powder, cereals, soups, vegetable and fruit puree, fruit juices, etc.
Once the child has become well accustomed to the new diet, it is easy to make the decision to stop breastfeeding.
- Loss of interest. The decrease in the interest of breastfeeding occurs both in the child and in the mother.
- Health reasons. The mother might have a rhagade or infection that makes breastfeeding difficult, for example, mastitis that causes swelling and inflammation of the mammary glands.
The doctor may prescribe medication to heal the infection. However, it must be borne in mind that mothers can pass on the infection and the chemical substances contained in the drugs to the child through breast milk.
How to stop breastfeeding
- Gradual weaning. It is very important that mothers do not abruptly stop breastfeeding.
This can confuse the child and also be a reason for the child to become moody.
- Explain friendly. This is necessary if the diet with breast milk is canceled for children of 1 or 2 years. Most children are able to speak and can understand the mother’s words.
It is also said that the emotional stress on weaning is greatest at this age.
- Pay attention to the chest. Many women do not know how to stop breastfeeding without pain.
After the child is weaned, the breasts continue to produce milk and this can lead to heavy and painful breasts.
Menstrual cycle after breastfeeding
While the child is still breastfed, it often happens that the cycle takes place with a few weeks or even months delay.
This timing can be different for each woman and also depends on some other factors. While some women resume the normal cycle after 6 weeks, others may not get their menstrual period for 12 months and more.
When to expect the first cycle after breastfeeding?
As already said, the resumption of menstruation after breastfeeding is different in every woman. The whole thing is tied to the hormones, and since every woman has a different hormone level, the cycles also occur at different times.
Women who have breastfed their children exclusively and often can be sterile for long periods of time. On the other hand, women who wean their children prematurely may have their cycle as early as a week or two after weaning. Children who become accustomed to solid foods at an early age are less dependent on breast milk alone for their nutritional needs. As a result, these mothers are more likely to start menstruating than women who exclusively breastfeed their children for many months.
expect The first menstrual period after birth can either proceed as usual or not. It may be weaker than the normal cycle or characterized by severe hemorrhage.
It can last only a few days or a week or longer. One may or may not have premenstrual syndrome before the end of the menses. During this cycle, mild abdominal cramps are common. In short, some variations of the cycle are considered completely normal. Nevertheless, you should inform the gynecologist immediately about symptoms such as intense abdominal pain.
Rarely, normal ovulation begins in women before the cycle occurs. Despite this, there have been cases where women have become pregnant within a month of giving birth.
Causes of irregular menstruation during lactation
Breastfeeding stimulates sex hormones and triggers milk production in women. This triggers irregularities in the menstrual period. As a result of excessive milk production, a hormone called prolactin is increased, which suppresses ovulation, resulting in irregular cycles.
Sexual intercourse and birth control pills
During lactation, the woman may become pregnant.
Oral contraceptives must not be taken so as not to harm the child, but there are some pills that are allowed. In this regard, it is recommended to consult the gynecologist.
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