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Breastfeeding or Nursing, is the action of feeding a baby with milk from the breast. Breast milk usually directly from the breast or may be pumped  and fed to the infant. Breastfeeding should begin within the first hour of child’s birth and continue often as much as the baby wants. World Health Organization(WHO) recommends breastfeeding exclusively for six months without giving the baby other food or drinks other than vitamin D. After six months breastfeeding should be accompanied with appropriate complementary food to up to two years and beyond.

Benefits of Breastfeeding to a Baby

  1. Breast milk provides ideal nutrition for babies. Meets baby nutritional needs since its a mix of vitamin, protein and fat and that’s everything your baby needs to grow. Its also easily digested by a baby.
  2. Breast milk contains antibodies. These antibodies from the mother to the baby through breast milk helps the baby develop strong immune system to fight off viruses and bacteria.
  3. Breastfeeding protects babies from short- and long-term illness. It lowers baby’s risk of having allergies, asthma, obesity and type 1 diabetes. Also babies breastfed exclusively for 6 months have fewer ear infections, respiratory illness and stomach bugs.
  4. Baby’s high IQ scores later in life. studies shows that babies who were breastfed exclusively tend to have higher IQ scores in later childhood as they grow.
  5. Bonding with mother. The physical closeness, skin-to-skin-and eye contact all help the baby bond with the mother and makes him feel secure.

Benefit of Breastfeeding to the Mother

  1. Helps Mother loss pregnancy weight. Breastfeeding burns a lot of calories  so it can help you loss pregnancy weight fast.
  2. Reduces Mother’s risk to some diseases. Breastfeeding has health benefit to mother too, diseases like breast and ovarian cancer, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are less common among women who breastfeed.
  3. Breast feeding saves time. Mothers can feed their baby on the go without worrying to mix formulas or prepare bottles. This gives you time to relax, unwind and bond with your newborn.

Breastfeeding Milestone

Here is what you’ll expect during the first year of breastfeeding, as it involves a lot of mealtime milestone;

  • First Week;                                                                                                                                                    Here you focus on making sure your baby knows how to latch on your breast correctly. Latching on correctly not only prevents sore or cracked nipples but also ensures your body relax to make more milk supply.
  • 2 Weeks to 2 Months;                                                                                                                                        Keeping up with the milk supply since in the first months a lot of changes occurs. By ‘changes ‘ I mean an impressive amount of growth and development, sleeping longer and settling into more of predictable breastfeeding routine. It also comes with growth spurt that will lead to increase in baby’s demand to milk supply.
  • 4 to 6 Months;                                                                                                                                                       This is the period where your baby gets their first teeth and first food.  Let me make it clear that babies don’t need teeth in order to be introduced to solid food and a baby having teeth does not affect breastfeeding at all. This is the time when you may start seeing the signs of front teeth popping through. Note some baby may take a while before their first teeth maybe until 9 to 12 months or even longer. When teething a baby may experience irritability, disrupted sleep, swelling of gums, loss of appetite, rash around the mouth and diarrhea. You can get them teether to help in teething. Solid food is recommended to be introduced at 6 months, food like fruits,vegetables,baby cereals, pureed meets can now be added to baby mealtime menu. Even with introduction of solid food, continue breastfeeding up to at least 12months or even more if you and your baby desires.
  • 9 Months;                                                                                                                                                            At this age babies are very inquisitive, developing interest in everything around them. They may be disrupted easily and thus seem disinterested with breastfeeding. This should not discourage you, just find a quiet place with less distractions to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding Positions

There is no right or wrong way to breastfeed your baby. As long as you and your baby are comfortable and relaxed, you are good to go. You must make sure you’re not straining to hold the position. Knowing different breastfeeding positions can be useful since your baby is growing up and getting bigger you will have to change positions. Here are some different common positions for breastfeeding.

  • Cradle position, This the most common position that almost everyone can relate. It involves you sitting upright with your baby’s head on the crook of your elbows and their whole body facing you.  Make sure your baby’s belly is against your body so that they feel fully supported. The other free hand may support the head or the lower back of your baby.  It might be the most popular position but it may not serve you well on a newborn as it doesn’t give your baby as much support as others hold. Use  of a nursing pillow across your lap propping up your baby or arms can give you more support and avoid strain on your back or shoulder.
  • Cross cradle hold, This is almost the same as cradle but here your arms exchanges roles so your baby body lies along your opposite forearm.



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