Breastfeeding - Benefits and Tips
Benefits For Your Baby
Breastfeeding provides a wealth of benefits for both you and your new baby. For starters, your milk provides all the nutrition your baby needs for the first six months of its life, and can reduce the risks of infections like gastroenteritis and infections of the respiratory system. Your baby’s teeth will be straighter as they grow and infants that are breastfed are less at risk of developing asthma, diabetes and eczema.
Your milk is always ready so there’s no need to worry about sterilisers or lugging bottles around, and the skin-to-skin contact of breastfeeding provides a wonderful way for the two of you to bond. Breast milk contains essential hormones, immunoglobulins and enzymes that cannot be duplicated with any infant formula.
Benefits For Mums
As you are breastfeeding, you’ll burn extra calories going a long way in terms of shedding those pregnancy pounds. Breastfeeding also helps to decrease blood loss post-birth and ensures your uterus returns back to normal. In the long term the health benefits include; reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers and type 2 diabetes. Reduced risk of developing osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis has also been recorded.
Tips For Breastfeeding On The Go
It can seem daunting feeding your little one in public, but there are ways to make things a bit easier for yourself. Plan ahead and think about where you’re going - will you feel comfortable in this café/restaurant? Wear clothes and that will stretch and accommodate breastfeeding to make sure both you and baby are comfortable, and throw a scarf in your bag for extra coverage. Never let anyone make you feel uncomfortable for feeding your child. It’s perfectly natural and you have every right to.
Antenatal classes are a great place to pick up breastfeeding tips before the baby arrives, and you should ask the midwives for advice as soon as she’s born. If you’re having problems you can visit a breastfeeding specialist in the hospital who will help you figure out what’s best for your situation. There are also many support groups all over Ireland that provide advice, information and support. Remember that many new mums have trouble with breastfeeding, so you should never feel alone.
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