Facts, Advantages and Disadvantages of Breastfeeding
Breast feeding is the act of feeding a baby by allowing it to suckle the mothers’ breast. A woman produces milk after giving birth. Breastfeeding is very important to both the mother and the baby.
· Breast feeding acts as a bond between the mother and child
· Breast milk is easily digested.
· It does not need any preparation and can be given to the child whenever he or she wants it
· The milk contains colostrum that has antibodies and is very critical in protection of diseases in the infant
· This milk contains all the necessary nutrients and is always at the right temperature
· Breastfeeding is known to help the mothers’ uterus return to its normal size and position easily.
Breastfeeding your baby will offer them a number of benefits. It is recommended to entirely breast feed for a period of 6 months. Doctors recommend that you breast feed your baby for 1000 where possible. Here are some advantages your baby will get from breastfeeding;
· This milk is free from contamination or germs.it is because it is consumed directly from the breast
· This milk is very economical. all is needed is for the mother to feed well sand take right fluids for its production
· Breastfeeding is known to delay ovulation. This can be used as a natural family planning method. Though it is not a guaranteed.
Everything that has an advantage must have its negative side. Breastfeeding has the following cons:
· Breastfeeding is known to transmit some diseases from mother to child. HIV can easily be transmitted through this method. Therefore ensure you have visited a health facility for right tests.
· Breast milk is not always adequate for multiple births like twins.
· As the child grows breast milk ids no long enough to sustain the growth of the baby. Therefore you need to introduce other foods to the baby.
Breastfeeding has some challenges the mother and child can face. Here are some problems related to breastfeeding and how they can be managed.
1. Sore Nipples
This is a challenge every mother goes through. During the first days after giving birth, the nipples get cracked and sore and are very painful. You can manage this problem by feeding the baby after every two hours. Ensure that you make your baby suckle at the areola and not the nipple. You can press down on your baby’s cheek to take them off the breast to avoid them from pulling it. You should leave some few drops of milk to dry on the nipple. You can expose the cracked nipple to air for some time. Seek medical help.
2. Breast Abscess
This is caused by neglecting a cracked nipple which gets infected. When this abscess forms go to the nearest health facility and get medical help.
3. Breast Hardness
This is caused by too much milk. Breast engorgement occurs when the breast is full of milk.it can happen when the mother is afraid to let the baby suckle the affected breast. Or the milk is either too much for the baby or he refuses to suckle that breast.to manage this you must breast feed frequently. You can use a clean piece of cloth squeezed from warm water to squeeze the breast. You can express some milk by hand before feeding your baby.
4. Baby refusal to breastfeed
A baby can refuse to breast feed due to various reasons. There are babies who refuse to breast feed due to being fed with a baby bottle. The baby may be ill or he is experiencing a problem with the feeding pattern. Children who are bottle-fed get confused and refuse to be breastfed. You can avoid introducing baby bottle very early for the child.
5. Mothers’ refusal to breastfeed
There are times a mother may refuse to breastfeed her child for various reasons. There are mothers who suffer post-partum depression and do not want to breastfeed. Others are afraid of losing their breast attractiveness when breastfed. There are those who do not breastfeed due to various beliefs. The mother should go through counseling and awareness of the importance of breastfeeding.
6. Mothers’ inability to breastfeed
There are certain circumstances that can affect breastfeeding of a baby. There are multiple births that may cause this. The mother may not be in a position to supply adequate milk to breastfeed all the children .In case of successive birth a mother will be forced to stop breastfeeding one child. A mother can be sick therefore she is not able to breastfeed. Being away from your baby for long is also another factor. You can work in an environment that provides space for mothers to breast feed.