There is no substitute for
'mother's milk', and by breastfeeding your baby, even if it is just for the
first six months, you will be giving your child the best start to life. Breast
milk contains a huge amount of beneficial ingredients that 'Mother Nature'
fashioned especially for your bundle of joy. If you are unsure to try it from
any conflicting stories you may have heard, try and consider the following:
Colostrum, (the yellowish fluid
available at birth) contains antibodies that fight diseases such as polio,
tetanus, whooping cough and gastroenteritis, or those you have either had or
been immunized against. And with your baby's own immune system only taking
effect after a few months, it does offer peace of mind, knowing that she is
being supplied with some form of protection.
'The ideal food'
Unlike cow's milk that needs to
be altered before it is suitable for feeding your baby, breast milk is perfect
in it's natural form and is produced at exactly the right temperature too. And
who knows, there may even be two different flavors to this wonderwork.
'Foremilk' is expressed at the beginning of the feed, this is needed to quench
the baby's thirst, and as the feed progresses 'hindmilk' will be made which
will act as her main meal.
Shielding against allergies
Allergy to cow's milk can cause
endless problems, such as eczema, asthma, colic and hay fever, and with your
baby being totally tolerable of your milk these problems are less frequent. If
there is a family history of allergy, it is recommended that you breast-feed
your baby for at least the first six months, to give her the maximum protection
Resistance to infection
Breast milk, lines your baby's
stomach, providing added protection against infection throughout the breast
feeding period and setting up a long term barrier too.
Breast milk helps in clearing the
baby's intestines of meconium (the sticky substance which is contained in the
intestines at birth), and because it is so easily absorbed it prevents the
discomfort of hard dry stools with the smell being less offensive than those of
their bottle-fed counterparts.
Faulty mouth development,
resulting in misplaced teeth are phenomenally higher in bottle fed babies, and
children who were breast fed for more than three months have been shown to have
far less tooth decay.
One of the biggest advantages of
breast feeding is that there is a constant supply of food for your baby. There
will however be times when your milk supply will seem more plentiful than
others, but there will always be a ready-made meal waiting to be consumed. This
also has the added advantage of not having to get up in the middle of the night
to sterilize and prepare bottles.
Regaining your shape
Breast feeding benefits the
mother too, as every time the baby sucks, the uterus contracts, until it
returns to it's normal size, therefore helping you to regain your pre-pregnancy
figure sooner. You may experience 'after pains' while breastfeeding, but these
Breast milk comes ready packed in
its own special container, so there is no need to buy all the equipment and
artificial milk that is needed for bottle feeding.
Probably one of the finest
reasons for breast feeding is the closeness shared between mother and baby.
Nothing can compare to the inner comfort and love that is experienced when you
hold your creation to your breast. Baby
bonding is a crucial part of motherhood, and enjoying a cuddle together
while feeding is a wonderful way of guaranteeing you some much needed rest and
promotes a healthy intimate relationship between mother and child, so why
not offer the best there is!
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