Breastfeeding is a beautiful and unique way for a mother to care for her new child. Breastfed infants experience reduced risks of many infections and health concerns, as well as possible enhancement of cognitive development. Mothers also experience many health benefits, and often see an earlier return to pre-pregancy weight. Not to mention a huge finacial savings as the cost of formula is estimated at over $1000.00 a year. Above all, breastfeeding provides great maternal-infant bonding, but it’s not always easy.
Getting Off to a Good Start
A mother needs full access to her newborn directly from birth and throughout the recovery process. Nursing on demand is the ideal way to feed. Follow the newborn cue’s (increased alertness or activity, mouthing or rooting), and feed before he begins to cry. A newborn requires 8 – 12 feedings per day, usually 10 – 15 minutes on each breast.
Nutrition During Breastfeeding
The food a mother eats becomes the food the baby eats. Whole foods, a well-rounded diet and plenty of liquids will benefit both parties. Nursing mothers need at least 2,700 calories and 65 grams of protein a day. If baby is unusally fussy, pay attention to foods or beverages consumed prior to an episode to help diagnose possible causes of baby’s discomfort. Avoid caffeine, cigarette smoke and recreational drugs.
Problems During Breastfeeding
Relax and Enjoy Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is like no other time in the mother or baby’s lives. They have the opportunity to get to know and discover how important they are to one another. The housework will still be there when the baby is done nursing. Work will still be there when the mother is ready to return. Friends and family members will gladly resume closeness when the mother feels ready to re-invest in these relationships. The mother can simply relax and enjoy this special time between herself and her baby.
For a list of resources on the topic, please contact Erin Kaspar-Frett, firstname.lastname@example.org
Information for this article pulled from American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement- Pediatrics Volume 100, Number 6, December 1997, pp 1035-1039 http://www.aap.org/policy/re9729.html