Table of contents
Breastfeeding Brings Many Advantages
- Breastfed children receive protection against infections and allergies with their mother’s milk. That’s why many pediatricians recommend exclusive breastfeeding for six months.
- But breastfeeding also brings health benefits to the mother. It promotes the involution of the uterus and is beneficial for the figure.
- Last but not least, breastfeeding saves money (up to 800 euros for six months of full breastfeeding) and time.
- And the close physical contact creates an intensive relationship between mother and child.
You can have firm confidence that you will have enough milk for your baby. Also, less preparation is needed than is often said. If you like, you may continue to care for yourself with a body lotion, only nipples and areolas must be left out.
The natural friction of clothing, air, and sun (in moderation!) are natural hardening for the breasts. For women with very flat nipples or inverted nipples, it has proven useful to wear nipple shapers already during pregnancy.
Talk to a lactation consultant or your midwife about this. Breastfeeding preparation courses and individual consultations are offered by lactation consultants and midwives. Health insurance companies cover the costs.
Breastfeeding – A Good Start In Life
Studies have shown that a newborn’s instinctive sucking reflex is strongest within the first 60 minutes after birth. Therefore, put your baby to bed as soon as possible!
However, there are babies who take longer before they are ready to suck. Don’t worry, it can all be made up! However, it is important that the baby is not offered a bottle before the first breastfeeding unless this is necessary for health reasons.
The first breast milk, called foremilk or colostrum, is a valuable, highly concentrated food with a high content of protein, vitamins, and immune substances. The laxative effect of colostrum helps the baby to expel its first stool, potty stool, or meconium, more quickly. This prevents neonatal jaundice. In addition, colostrum strengthens the baby’s sensitive intestinal mucosa, providing it with a protective film.
The amount of milk depends on how often your baby sucks at the breast, not on the shape or size of the breast or nipples. The more often and intensively the baby sucks, the more the production of the milk-forming hormone prolactin is stimulated and thus milk production is increased.
Milk shots in about two to three days after birth. Suddenly, the breasts are plump and often sensitive to pressure. So that baby’s sucking doesn’t hurt now and to reduce the feeling of tension, it helps to squeeze out some milk with your hand before feeding. Early and frequent latching on makes it easier for you and your baby to get used to breastfeeding and the milk let-down occurs more quickly. Also, the more often you breastfeed in the first two days after birth, the smoother the milk let-down will be: The breasts are then less sensitive to touch.
If possible, drink a glass of liquid with every breastfeeding meal, e.g. mineral water (possibly low in carbon dioxide), juices, or tea. Lactation tea is very popular; however, two to three cups per day are sufficient.
You should avoid peppermint and sage tea because they have a negative effect on milk formation. Your child eats with you. Therefore, as during pregnancy, make sure you eat a balanced, healthy diet. Breastfeeding mothers need more minerals and vitamins. An adequate supply of iodine is particularly important for the child’s optimal mental development.
It is not only your child who benefits from a balanced diet:
With plenty of fruit and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, meat and fish, and whole-grain products, you will feel fitter more quickly. You can lose pounds gained during pregnancy more easily if you also limit your sugar consumption and avoid foods with hidden fats.