Breastfeeding is a wonderful, natural process with benefits for both the baby and the mother. It builds the immune system for the infant, reducing the risk of allergies, viral infections, urinary tract infections, inflammable bowel disease, gastroenteritis, ear infections,respiratory infections, and skin problems such as eczema, helps with digestion, lessens the risk of childhood obesity and diabetes, AND it is FREE. Breastfed babies are also known to have a higher IQ.
For the Mother, breastfeeding helps with weight loss, provides a natural contraception, lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, creates a bond with the baby and some studies even show that women who breastfeed their infants are less likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
ONE of the greatest myths with breast feeding is that is that it does not have enough "substance" for the baby. Breast milk contains all the essential nutrients and percentage of water etc that the baby needs for his/her body. This is why it is preached repeatedly to breastfeed exclusively up until 6 months old. At 6 months solid foods, juices, tea and Water should be introduced into your baby's daily diet.
Another big myth is that the mother should not breast feed on an empty stomach because it will cause colic/air in the baby. There is absolutely no scientific proof of such and breastfeeding should occur despite if the mother has eaten or not.
The positioning of the baby to the breast is very important. Wrong positioning may cause the baby to not get enough breast milk and even intense pain at the nipple for the mother.
Below is an illustration of proper positioning for breastfeeding.
The baby's head should be tilted slightly back and the lips should be turned outward like a fish.
Aim the nipple toward the baby's upper lip/nose, not the middle of the mouth
The baby's tongue should be extended, and the mouth should cover the entire nipple and areola.
The nose, chin and hands should be clear at all times while feeding.
Both you and baby must be comfortable during breastfeeding. Remember, this is the greatest bonding time for you and your baby so enjoy and embrace it.