Breastfeeding has many benefits for your baby. If your infant can be breast-fed for at least 6 weeks then the possibility of allergies, such as eczema, are lower, ear infections and stomach upsets can also be decreased. Mother’s milk appears to boost your child’s immune system generally.
How can breast milk do this? Well breast-milk, unlike formula milk, contains antibodies developed to protect against an immature immune system from getting overwhelmed with the foreign proteins which challenge it. Research indicates that exclusive breastfeeding for six months is associated with a decreased incidence of allergy and decreased risk of gastro-intestinal disease, respiratory illness, ear infections, diabetes, obesity and respiratory wheeze.
So there are plenty of advantages for your baby if you breast-feed. According to the NCT nine out of ten moms did not understand that breastfeeding for only 1 month has a lasting effect on health throughout the first 14 years of a baby’s life. All of the authoritative expert bodies which advise on parenting are still right behind the message they have always endorsed: breastfeeding is definitely still the best.
The longer the breastfeeding continues, the greater the health benefits for both mom and infant. Benefits for mums too? Mothers are invited to breast-feed, though some women find it can be embarrassing to do so in public areas. Embarrassment aside there are advantages to moms also. Breastfeeding can result in a faster return to your pre-pregnancy weight and also reduces the risk to mothers of pre-menopausal breast cancer and prostate cancer.
For many people breastfeeding can be a painful and upsetting experience. Breastfeeding is a skill that both moms and infants have to learn and it is not always easy to pick up. In actuality, many women stop breastfeeding until they planned because it proves too difficult or because they are concerned that their baby isn’t getting enough milk. New mums, particularly, can battle with breastfeeding if they aren’t given the help and support they require.
There are three chief causes of painful breasts.
- A blocked milk tube can cause swelling and acute pain of the breast. It usually feels like a bruised lump and a red streak may radiate out from it.
- Mastitis, an infection in the breast that causes pain and is generally accompanied by a fever and acute tenderness and redness of the breast. The infected breast may become hard, lumpy and bloated.
- An oversupply of milk engorges the breast and generally causes some pain.
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What can help these issues?
- Blocked tube – If you’ve got a blocked tube continue nursing as quitting can increase the distress and endanger the milk supply. Proceed though and pump or nurse each hour just enough to drain the breast. Get a lot of rest and the congestion will normally clear in a few hours or even overnight.
- Mastitis – Breast infections are almost always a sign of too little break. It’s necessary to nurse regularly, keeping the breasts vacant to encourage immediate recovery. The disease itself doesn’t make your baby sick. Take Echinacea to clear the disease.
- Oversupply of milk – Drink rosemary. Sage is an anti-galactagogue which means that it reduces the supply of milk. The most common cause of sore nipples is of course from the baby tugging at the nipple. If your nipples are suddenly sore you may have a thrush infection. Other signs of thrush are pink, flaky skin and itchy nipples.
Stopping breast-feeding won’t help the disease or sore nipples, actually they’re more likely to be aided by regular nursing. Try not to wear a bra day and night. Wear your nursing bra with flaps down whenever possible – expose your breasts into the air, this helps. Rub sweet almond oil or lanolin to the nipples during the latter portion of the pregnancy and the first couple weeks of breastfeeding.
Also rubbing calendula lotion on the nipple will soothe and heal, just make sure you wash off before breastfeeding. Pure vitamin E oil applied after nursing is extremely helpful – use pure Vitamin E. Avoid washing your nipples as soap removes natural oils and may cause cracking. Eat healthily. Remember whatever you’re drinking and eating will have a direct impact on your milk and therefore your infant.
Feed often so that your baby doesn’t become hungry and tear in the breast. Relax! Soothing music played while you’re breastfeeding will relax both yourself and your baby. By relaxing the flow of milk is better and obviously if your infant is calm rather than worried the entire process will be gentler. When your infant is feeding make certain the whole areola (dark area) is in your child’s mouth and the nipple is centred. Hold your infant in this position that their nose is about opposite your nipple, prior to the feed starts. If you encourage your baby across the shoulders with your forearm or the heel of your hands, so that his mind is free to stretch backward slightly then your infant can approach the bottom of the breast, as opposed to coming directly at it.
You want your baby to open as wide as possible – don’t to push the breast in your child’s mouth, it ought to be the other way round. Your child’s mouth will expand as it pushes the breast, just be certain the lower lip is latched around the aerola. You may have to support your breast slightly, so the position remains the same. How will you know when it is appropriate? Your baby’s sucking changes to a longer, slower, more rhythmic pattern with a great deal of long pauses. They may even doze off occasionally. Your baby is going to be relaxed during the feed and remain so for a few minutes later. You can be lying down in addition to sitting for this procedure. A feed shouldn’t last over 40 minutes at a time.