In today’s fast times, there may be some women who consider breastfeeding a burden. I, on the other hand, think it is a boon and one of the most cherished experiences of parenthood.
Breastfeeding in the initial days for a first time mother may seem difficult. But I always advise new mums to remember that both she as well as her baby are learners in this game, no one is more experienced than the other. Post partum hormonal changes also make mothers more anxious and worried. Mothers who have learnt the techniques of successful breastfeeding in a Prenatal class can easily ride over the initial hurdles.
It is normally believed that breastfeeding is meant only for the baby’s benefit, but the truth is that breastfeeding is as beneficial, if not more, for mothers!
Benefits for Mothers:
-Because of the sucking action of the baby, the Oxytocin hormone is released. This helps regulate the blood flow post-delivery and also prevents the onset of anemia. Also Oxytocin causes the enlarged uterus to shrink back to its original shape, size and position. This process is called the involution of uterus.
– As a result of breastfeeding, mothers are able to quickly lose weight, because calories get burnt during breastfeeding. Hence breastfeeding mothers don’t need any vigorous diet for weight loss.
– The troublesome onset of Osteoporosis is delayed with exclusive breastfeeding.
– Breastfeeding causes the release of the Prolcatin hormone. This helps the mother keep calm and overcome anxiety. The hormone also helps a mother recover from baby blues.
– Breastfeeding helps provide certain amount of protection against breast, ovarian and uterine cancers.
Benefits to the baby:
–Breastfeeding helps babies bond with their mothers. When a baby is held to the mother’s breast, it becomes easy for the baby to focus on the mother’s face and develop a deep recognition.
–Breastfed babies are more content, happy and smiling babies. Due to the proximity during breastfeeding, the baby can listen to the mother’s heartbeats, thereby getting reassured and feeling safe in the new environment.
–Breastfed babies are more intelligent as during the first 4 months, proteins in the mother’s milk are directed towards the brain development of the baby.
–Breast milk provides the much needed immunity to the baby, as the immune system does not function in newborns until 6 weeks of age.
–Breast milk is the best food for the baby, as the nutrients in the mother’s milk will change from time to time to suit the baby’s needs.
–Breast milk is the most convenient food for a baby. No preparations, no packing required. Food is available to the baby at all times, at the right temperature, in the right quantity. What’s more, with the smart nursing covers that are available today, mums can easily feed their babies even in public places.
–Thus, mothers there are umpteen reasons to breastfeed and not a single reason not to. Just learn the techniques properly and join the millions of successful, beaming breastfeeding mothers.
–All the best!!!
Happy babies> happy mothers.
Dr. Rita Shah
Dr. Rita Shah is a Lactation Expert and a Qualified Lamaze Consultant, trained from the United States. She is also the Director of ‘Dr. Rita Shah – Nine Months: Lamaze’, a fitness program for expectant mothers.