Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Breast Feeding Beneficial for both Mum and Baby

Mothers always tend to provide the best for their children in all aspects of their lives. The relationship between mother and child is something special and unique. It all starts from the time she conceives the child in her womb and until the time of delivery when finally the baby is placed in her loving embrace.

Babies are vulnerable as they are not immune to all the diseases that are present in the environment and that is why breast feeding is important. The world has developed rapidly and woman nowadays are just not homemakers but play a significant role in the community. They have more responsibilities to fulfill not just as a mother but also as a career woman and this has lead to a decline of breast feeding among mothers.

Although breast feeding is considered to be troublesome by some as they might have to breast feed in public, maintain a healthy diet and avoid foods that are not suitable for the baby, quit smoking, dress appropriately to ensure it is easy to breast feed but as a whole breast feeding is not just beneficial for the baby but also for the mother.

Breast fed babies are healthier than bottle fed babies as the breast milk contains the right amount of fatty acids, lactose, water and amino acids that is easy for the baby to digest for brain development and growth. There is a lower rate of hospital admission for allergies, diarrhea, ear infections, rashes and other illness in breast fed babies. This enables the new mother to be free from stress of caring for an unhealthy baby and she will be able to recuperate faster.

The breast milk is specially designed for human babies compared to infant formulas that is made of cow's milk which is suitable for calves. The mother's antibodies will be transferred into the milk thus the baby will have a stronger immune system. Almost 80 percent of the cells in breast milk is macrophages that can kill bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Breast milk contains the right amount of nutrients that the baby needs compared to infant formulas. There is no need to feed the baby with sugar water or other supplements as there is enough water in the milk itself. The baby obtains the milk straight from the mother's breast thus it is sterile and there can be no contamination avoiding diarrhea or vomiting. Breast fed babies also have Lactobacillus Bifidus in their digestive system that prevents growth of harmful organisms allowing easy digestion.

All this allows the mother to have a hassle free life as there is no need to sterile milk bottle or measure and mix the infant formula. The mother can also nurse during the night or in the wee hours of the morning in the comfort of her own bed. She can also take a dose with the baby suckling at her breast. The milk is available for the baby upon request thus there is no need for the baby to cry and this avoids wind from entering the baby's stomach preventing colic.

The mother doesn't even have to use an artificial nipple or pacifier as the baby can obtain comfort by sucking the nipple and dosing off with the mother. The pacifier can also be a source of bacteria when it is dropped down to the floor and once the baby gets used to it the mother has to ensure she brings the pacifier wherever she goes. It also has a bad effect on the growth of the baby's teeth and should be avoided at all costs.

The baby has to suck at the breast for the milk and this promotes good jaw development for the baby and enables the growth of strong healthy teeth. The baby can also control the flow of milk by sucking and stopping compared to bottle feeding where the baby has to keep on sucking on the artificial nipple that has been placed into the mouth. There is also a close bond formed between the baby and the mother as the baby will not be able to see clearly and relies on touch and obtains comfort by cuddling close to the mother.

Mothers can lose her extra pounds as nursing a baby uses up the extra calories. Lactating also stimulates the uterus to contract back to its normal size. Nursing a baby can also be considered to be a form of contraceptive method as it suppresses ovulation making it unlikely that there will be menstruation or ovulation that can lead to pregnancy but it is not a reliable or safe method.

Despite all the benefits breast feeding has to offer there will be some problems that mothers have to face such as sore and cracked nipples, infections, engorgement and so on but the joy of nursing a baby and the fact that the baby is getting the best milk surpasses all discomfort that the mother experiences. It is important that mothers view breast feeding as a two way relationship that is beneficial to both themselves and their babies to promote breast feeding in the future.

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