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The Initial Stage of Breastfeeding
The first few days after the birth of your baby are very important and even difficult. I personally faced a little difficulty as being a first-time mother, I did not even know how to hold the baby for feeding and how to lock the baby’s mouth to the nipples so that she can suck the milk. This process will be painful as the babies suck it really hard, and your milk is not in a proper flow yet. You will observe that the milk is coming in form of drops on the first and second days. However, once you feed your baby, the milk will start coming in a steady flow and that will also make the process pain-free for you. Give it time, once you and the baby get comfortable with it things will be quite easier.
There are some women who are unable to breastfeed their babies due to various complications. These are some reasons why women are unable to do breastfeeding:
- There is less milk supply which is not sufficient to fill the baby’s stomach.
- Preterm delivery
- Complications due to C-section delivery
- Some women willingly do not want to breastfeed as they think it will cause the sagging of breasts.
It is said that a mother’s milk is best for the baby however, it is great not only for the baby but also for the mothers. Did you know that according to a study published in the journal of Reviews in Obstetrics & Gynecology, women who don’t or can’t breastfeed, face a higher risk when it comes to cancer?
Advantages of Breastfeeding for the Mother
- There are more chances of conceiving again soon after your delivery. If the mother chooses to breastfeed, the hormones which are subsequently produced don’t let egg formation happen. If she chooses not to breastfeed, the ovulation process starts and then she gets her period which means she is again ready for another pregnancy. This can also harm her uterus and overall well-being as giving birth to a baby makes the body weak.
- It is seen that women who get pregnant again soon after delivery have higher chances of getting ovarian cancer. Hence, if you are breastfeeding, it can save you from ovarian cancer as well as breast cancer.
- If you are breastfeeding your baby, you have fewer chances of gaining weight after delivery. When you are breastfeeding, more of your energy is used in producing milk due to which there will be a loss in your weight. Breastfeeding helps you burn 500-700 calories per day. So if you want to lose your post-pregnancy weight, you need to breastfeed.
- Breastfeeding helps you in reducing the bleeding after your delivery. For the women who don’t breastfeed, their uterus takes time to come back to its original shape or position. However, this happens sooner in women who breastfeed.
- Some women face depression after delivery due to sleeplessness, loss of appetite, intense irritability and hence, feel lonely. This can also affect your bond with the baby. If you are breastfeeding, you have better chances to bond with your baby which will help you not being depressed.
Advantages of Breastfeeding for the Baby
- Breastfeeding contains everything that a baby needs for the first six months in all the right proportions. The first milk that is produced is a wonder food for your baby and cannot be replaced with formula milk.
- Breast milk helps in increasing your baby’s immunity. It is loaded with antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria.
- Breastfed babies self regulate their milk intake. They are better at eating only until they have satisfied their hunger, which helps them develop healthy eating patterns.
- Breast milk is easy for the baby’s stomach which causes less stomach upset, diarrhoea and constipation as compared to formula milk.
- The skin to skin contact between you and your baby while breastfeeding will bring you closer to your baby. This will help your baby feel more protected and will help you create a better bond with them.
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