Breastfeeding is a journey for new mothers to nourish and connect with their newborns.
Breastfeeding is the only source of nutrition for a newborn baby from birth to 6 months. As their immune system is weak, breastmilk is the best source of strengthening for the newborn need as they can’t eat or digest solid food. It is given to infants for 6 months because it’s contamination-free and a rich source of protein and it’s the purest form of milk for an infant.
Feeding your baby usually directly from your breast is called breastfeeding which is also known as Nursing.
Breastfeed babies are more likely to sleep in shorter bursts, sleep less deeply and take longer to sleep through the night. But they do benefit from the melatonin in your breast milk which helps them get to sleep.
Stages of Breastfeeding
Breast milk is the main source of nutrients for a baby. A woman’s body starts preparing to create a new food supply for her baby during pregnancy. From the 4th week of pregnancy, a milk-producing cell called Lacto cytes starts forming. You might notice your breast growing during pregnancy but how much milk is produced depends on milk-producing tissues. The milk production cycle begins once the baby is born.
Occurs during pregnancy and lasts for several days after the baby’s birth. This yellowish sticky milk is thicker and is very important for protecting your baby. Colostrum is easy to digest.
Colostrum has the same nutrients as a later stage of milk, however amount of these ingredients varies and it’s tailored in such a way it suits a newborn baby.
The first milk colostrum is high in antibodies and white blood cells. It protects your baby from infections and is very important for the digestive system. Hence, it is very beneficial and important for the newborn to ingest this colostrum. After two to four days colostrum replaces with transitional milk.
Transitional Milk replaces colostrum. It is creamy and has a high level of proteins, vitamins, fat, and lactose. The color of milk slowly changes from yellow to white. As breasts start to stimulate you might feel fuller, firmer, and a bit of discomfort. Regular feeding can ease any discomfort during this stage.
After a few weeks, your milk reaches mature milk. It is lighter in color and stays consistent. But composition can still change from day to day and feed to feed.
Fore Milk– Milk that flows at the starting of feed is fore milk. It’s watery and quenches baby’s thirst.
Hind Milk- The milk that flows as your breast empties is Hind milk. It is higher in fats, calories and quenches the baby’s hunger.
From fore and hind milk, your baby will get the essential nutrients required for its growth.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for life
- It reduces the risk of breast as well as ovarian cancer.
- It lowers the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Less osteoporosis with age along with less hypertension and less cardiovascular disease.
- Breastfeeding is the best way to connect the baby to a mother both emotionally and scientifically and it provides benefits to the child in the form of nutrients.
- Breastfeeding is God’s gift to mothers to provide nutrients and food to their children when they are not able to do anything else.
Mother is the first friend of a child who never left her child alone during its growth year. It’s the best period of connection between mother and child. Breast is the beauty of a woman so never comment on anything bad because if it weren’t there we wouldn’t exist in this world as healthier than we are now.