From my book; What should I feed my baby?

Dear parents!

There are very positive aspects of breastfeeding that not everybody may be aware of.

For the baby

Breast milk contains antibodies to illnesses the mother has had which protects her baby considerably against infections and can reduce the risk of allergies.
The first substance from the mother’s breast, the colostrums, helps the baby pass meconium and thus reduces the risk of jaundice. It also supplies your baby with immunological properties.
Sucking at the breast enhances good hand-eye coordination and also helps promote proper jaw and teeth alignment.

Babies absorb the iron in the breast milk well due to the presence of vitamin-C and specialized proteins.
The breast milk responds to the needs of the baby; it is a living, constantly changing food. For example, the milk produced for a premature baby is very different than the breast milk produced for a full term infant. And even the milk that flows at the beginning of a feed is more watery than the milk that comes out towards the end of the feeding, which is much richer in fat. Both are vital for the baby. It’s almost like magic!

For the mother

Immediate breastfeeding after birth helps contract the uterus and reduces the risk of hemorrhaging.
A lactating mother has to consume around an extra 500 kcal per day. In my experience breastfeeding definitely aids in weight loss – it really shrinks you (Yay!:)) and I must admit I loved being able to eat more 🙂
The hormone prolactin, which appears in the mother, as a result of breastfeeding is a relaxant. It is said to help the mother feel “motherly”.
Studies show that breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of developing breast cancer.
Breastfeeding saves time and money. Formula feeding is expensive.
Outings with your baby are much easier when you can feed your baby with naturally hygienic breast milk. You don’t have to worry about bottles, heating, sterilizing etc. Very convenient to say the least!

That being said I want to tell all the mothers who cannot breastfeed their baby although really wanting to, that I know oh so many very truly great people who were never breastfed or breastfed only for a short period of time (me!:). So don’t waste your precious hours on guilt and self-punishment. Some things are just not meant to be and life isn’t always straightforward. Hey it wouldn’t be fun if it was. Just smile, enjoy life and your precious little baby… You’ll never get this special time back.

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