- 1 Breastfeeding: how to get off to a good start
- 2 Breastfeeding: the benefits for the baby
- 3 Breastfeeding: the benefits for the mother
- 4 How to tell if the child is hungry
- 5 How to tell if your baby is eating enough
- 6 The information brochure
It's true: there is always a lot of talk about breastfeeding. And there are many reasons why this happens. It is undoubtedly the best food a mother can give to her baby and the benefits - in terms of health and bonding - are enormous. And it's not just us saying that. There are the best of scientific studies that confirm all this.
We, together with the Georgia Association and Vivi Sano onlus, wanted to emphasize once again the importance of the issue by participating in a project for the promotion of good breastfeeding. It is called AllatTiaAmo and has seen us involved in a series of meetings with new mothers and pregnant women. The fruit of this work is a small brochure that will help you live this experience in the most satisfying way possible.
Breastfeeding: how to get started right
Let's face it right away. Breastfeeding is not always a walk in the park. The fact that it is "on demand" implies that there are no timetables. The child is attacked every time he requests it, day and night. There are not always the canonical "3 hours" between one feed and the next, especially when the babies are still very young. It can therefore be stressful. And not all of them make it. This does not mean that they have to feel like “Serie B” mothers: mothers are always special and in any case.
However, it is right to arrive at the birth prepared on how breastfeeding takes place, what are the best behaviors to adopt to live it in the most serene way possible. To be successful, the mother must be calm as this alone will ensure satisfactory breastfeeding for both of them.
The newborn should be attached as early as possible. The sooner it happens, the better. Skin-to-skin contact immediately after delivery quickly creates a strong bond, warms the baby and allows him to quickly find his nipple and start sucking. Moreover, doing it already in the delivery room allows you to have the support of the midwives and nursing nurses who will be able to give you the first indispensable indications.
Breastfeeding: the benefits for the baby
The World Health Organization never tires of repeating this. For the first 6 months of life, a baby should be exclusively breastfed. No water, no herbal teas, no fruit jars or early weaning. Of course, if the pediatrician believes that there are reasons for doing so, he could give different indications, but the world's top health authority is quite clear on how we should behave.
The first few days after giving birth, the breasts produce colostrum, a yellowish and very nutritious substance. It is the first food for the newborn. It takes very little to satiate it. As time passes, the milk will come, the real milk. Which is a complete food and adapts to the nutritional needs of the child. In addition, it is rich in antibodies, which strengthen the immune system of the newborn.
Breast milk has many benefits:
- protects against respiratory and urinary infections, ear infections, dysentery;
- reduces the risk of getting sick from various pathologies (leukemia, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases);
- the probability of suffering childhood obesity and constipation decreases;
- contributes to a better conformation of the mouth;
- improves brain development;
- reduces the risk of cot death syndrome.
Breastfeeding: the benefits for the mother
In addition to the advantage of immediately establishing a strong bond with your little one, breastfeeding also has positive effects on a woman's health. This happens both in the short and long term. Let's see what they are:
- favors contractions of the uterus, which thus returns first to its original size;
- makes you recover your fitness faster;
- reduces postpartum bleeding;
- decreases the risk of anemia;
- protects against some forms of cancer (breast and ovarian) and osteoporosis.
In addition to these more purely physical aspects, there is also a practical advantage. A well-established breastfeeding means having food for the baby always with you, in any place and at any time of day or night. Hence, it is very convenient.
How to tell if the baby is hungry
Our children's hunger does not always come with a desperate crisis of tears. Before we get to this, our puppies are able to send us other clues that may indicate the need for breastfeeding. The best time to breastfeed them is when they begin to turn their heads from side to side, opening their mouths in search of the breast. At this stage, they are still quite calm, so they will suckle with serenity.
If, on the other hand, we waste precious time, the baby will start stretching, moving nervously, bringing his little hands or anything else to his mouth. He is not completely impatient yet, but we are close to it. If we go further, the “alarm” goes off, the little one turns red in the face and is very agitated. In the latter case, before attaching him to the breast, try to calm him down and reassure him. This way, he will be able to suck without nervousness.
How to tell if your baby is eating enough
Breastfeeding mothers ask themselves over and over again: will she have eaten enough? Not having the bottle as a reference point, the question may be legitimate. However, there are clear signs that tell us if the baby is full or not. For example, the baby is serene, detaches independently from the nipple and often falls asleep.
A breastfeeding proceeds correctly if these conditions occur:
- the baby wets at least 6 diapers a day;
- stools are yellow and soft;
- the newborn regains its birth weight within the first 2 weeks of life;
- after feeding the baby is relaxed.
The information brochure
As mentioned at the beginning, we recently participated in the AllatTiAmo project. We have created an information booklet with everything that can be useful for mothers for a peaceful and happy breastfeeding. You will find all the practical information you need, the best positions to breastfeed (with lots of drawings), the most common problems and their solutions (such as fissures or mastitis), the most frequent clichés, the management of relatives and the role of dad. You can download it HERE.
Happy breastfeeding everyone!