Introduction To Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is one of those topics where introducing it to someone won’t be enough or as “satisfactory” as it would be if you were getting an introductory overview of another topic.
You see, in order to understand breastfeeding, you have to actually DO IT.
What Is Required For You To Really Say You Know What Breastfeeding Is Like?
Before you even start breastfeeding, you need to really have a clear motivation for DOING IT and for CONTINUING TO DO IT. In other words, you need to commit to breastfeeding by remember who you’re breastfeeding for.
Obviously, you’re committing to breastfeeding for your baby’s wellbeing.
“Breastfeeding is no walk in the park. But you know what? It’s the best red carpet you can roll out for your baby.” – Haydee Montemayor
- You need to learn about the breastfeeding process and apply it. Breastfeeding isn’t about theory. It’s about practice.
- You need to feel what it feels like to breastfeed.
- See the baby enjoy it.
- Realize that it actually feels good to do it.
- Learn what the breastfeeding benefits are and see how your baby starts to benefit from them.
- Realize that there are benefits that the baby will get that you can see and others that you can’t see.
- Realize that the breastfeeding benefits will be short term and long term.
- You gotta overcome struggles. You gotta troubleshoot any of your issues so that breastfeeding becomes a sustainable practice between you and your baby.
- Breastfeeding is one of the greatest acts of love.
- As soon as possible come to terms with the sacrifice that breastfeeding can represent by instead focusing on the fact that it is so worth it and that it will strengthen the bond between you and your baby.
- Experiencing all of these tough and easy parts is what will TRULY allow you to say that you know what breastfeeding is really like.
So, as you can see, introducing you to breastfeeding is like being able to only show you the beginning of a magic trick, but not the end.
Breastfeeding Is Magical, But The Magician Is You
Breastfeeding is magical but the whole process doesn’t just happen by magic.
It requires that you volunteer YOUR BODY, your time, your love, that YOU learn it, practice it and do it again, and again and again with dedication and joy.
You have to realize that you’re the magician. And that magic will flow through you as long as you let it happen.
You have to be committed to this magic. That way, you don’t throw in the towel the moment it gets tough.
And it will get tough at times. Because even if your breastfeeding journey goes very smoothly… you’ll have to practice this magic during moments when you would rather be sleeping, eating, or doing something else.
And it is VERY possible that you may spend SO many hours breastfeeding, that it’ll be more hours than you’ve ever spent on a hobby, spent on vacation, gone out with friends, worked part time, or even worked full-time.
But always remember, that you have one little precious audience member on the first row that is counting on you to deliver on this magic and that if the baby could give you a standing ovation on this magic, the baby would.
Breastfeeding Is So Worth It
As long as you go into breastfeeding with the mentality that you’re going to do it no matter what it takes the possibility for magic is endless.
Once you know the benefits of breastfeeding like I shared with here and here and what you and your baby would be missing out on if you don’t breastfeed, then it’s easier to be invested into creating the baby meals yourself, so to speak.
Breastfeeding is so important, actually, that if more mothers breastfeed… the health of cities, countries, nations and world could be improved.
Is Breastfeeding A Bunch Of Hype Or Is It Really That Beneficial?
Does Breastfeeding Only Save Babies’ Lives?
So If Breastfeeding Is That Life-Saving Why Isn’t It Encouraged More?
That is perhaps the million-dollar question.
But institutions like UNICEF have shared these statistics showing how the mortality of babies and women could be reduced with 190 countries.
Sadly, sometimes the money to be made by certain corporations comes more into play.
Who Has Determined That Breastfeeding Can Save This Many Lives?
This UNICEF report was conducted by 22 international researchers who studied 1,3000 reports.
When Is The Best Time To Start Breastfeeding?
The minute the baby is born.
Breastfeed your baby within the first hour of birth, the sooner the better. If you let your baby’s skin touch yours in what is known as skin-to-skin, there are additional benefits like balancing the mother’s hormones, the father’s hormone’s and boosting the baby’s immune system even more.
Where should you breastfeed?
When the baby is born, you should breastfeed in the bed (or in the exact location) you give birth. (Hopefully it’s not in a taxi. Just kidding, the likelihood of that happening is much tinier than you would expect).
After that, you should breastfeed everywhere and anywhere. Of course, you can be discrete about it.
How Else Can You Ensure That Your Baby Gets The Most Benefits From Breastfeeding?
In order to encourage your baby to get the greatest benefits from breastfeeding as possible (and that you prevent them dying due to diarrhea or respiratory infections — diarrhea and pneumonia are the leading causes for childhood mortality worldwide), there are several things you should do:
- Breastfeed your baby exclusively for 6 months on demand, day and night.
- Continue to breast-feed your baby even after they have started eating solid food because the food should be a supplement. Continue breastfeeding at least until the baby is 2 or 3 years old.
- The longer you breastfeed the more health and emotional benefits you’re going to get.
- The ladies that I’ve have learned have the best regard for breastfeeding are those that breastfed as long as 3 or 4 years. It’s as though the more you do it, the more you love it.
Who breastfeeds? Poor women?
What Type of Support Does a Woman Need?
Although there are many go-getting women out there, it is nice when women have support from their husbands to help with the baby, errands and cooking. If a woman works, it is nice when the women gets a private comfortable room to pump or to breastfeed.
Are both of these types of support absolutely necessary in order for the breastfeeding to succeed? No. There are work-arounds.
One form of support that is needed more than that is the support of lactation experts. If you live in a first-world country, there are lactation specialists that can help mothers learn what a proper latch looks like.
What Support Do You Have That You’re Probably Not Taking Advantage Of?
If you’re having your baby in a U..S. facility, it is highly possible that you may have what many mothers in your shoes wish they had. And that’s a lactation consultant that can assist you with any questions you have during the first couple of days of your baby’s entrance to the world.
And luckily, you’ll find, that with a well-planned birth-plan, you can not only request to see these lactations in the hospital, but you can also request to feed your baby right away as it’s recommended by the WHO.
The sooner the baby breastfeed, the sooner your white milk will come in after the colostrum. So that means that you should avoid giving your newborn formula.
What Is The Actual Anatomy That Allows Breastfeeding To Take Place?
The women’s breast prepare to provide milk during pregnancy in order to be ready to do so when the baby arrives.
The grape-like cells inside the breasts called the alveoli make milk. Milk Ducts carry the milk from these cells to the openings of the nipple. When a mom feeds her baby, that mom’s brain receives the message that milk is needed and the breast release milk through the let-down reflex.
And with the correct latch, the baby can breastfeed well.
This mechanism for milk production is based on supply and demand.
The more the baby empties the mother’s breasts, the more milk is produced. (You can also pimp to aid in milk production).
What Is One Of The Coolest Things About Breastmilk?
The more you learn about breastfeeding both by studying it and by doing it, the more mesmerized you’ll feel. We spoke earlier in this post that breastfeeding is magical, and it almost seems like an exaggeration. But it’s not.
Breastmilk literally adapts to your child’s needs depending on their health, the time of day and their age.
Breastmilk is alive, and in essence intuitively attuned to the baby.
And check this out… in order to protect the baby’s gut for a LIFETIME… cells from the mother’s gut are brought up to the breast so that the baby’s stomach has the right bacteria.
If that’s not “WOAH!” I don’t know what is.
How Long Do People Breastfeed?
How Long Can You Expect To Breastfeed Per Day?
The number of hours per day that you’ll need to invest into breastfeeding varies according to each baby. Some babies eat more, some babies eat less. Some babies take more time to breastfeed others take less. Some babies drink from one breast, others have two.
With my firstborn, I breastfed about 22 to 23 hours a day (kid you not) for the first couple of months.
But it varies. My advice? Be prepared to spend lots of time with your baby and/or if you need to return to work, be prepared to request for breastfeeding/ breast-pumping breaks. Don’t be ashamed of asking for time to feed your baby.
Who Determines How Long You Should Breastfeed Your Baby For?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (APA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have guidelines for how long to breastfeed that may change from time to time depending on their research findings. As you already read, the WHO says that you should breastfeed for at least two years. and The APA says you should breastfeed for the first 6 months or until it is mutually desirable both for you and the baby. But as you know, the more your breastfeed, the better it is for you and your baby.
What Benefits Does Breastfeeding Provide?
In case you haven’t read the prior two posts and want to know more about breastfeeding,
- Click here to read 10 Reasons You Should Breastfeed That Speak For Themselves And Implore You To Breastfeed given the benefits they provide for you as the mom.
- Click here to read Eye-Opening Facts About The Nutritional and Health Benefits Breastmilk Offers that Formula Simply Doesn’t to read about what the benefits for the baby are and the 15 illnesses that breastfeeding helps prevent.
Is Breastfeeding A Learning Curve For Every Mom?
Yes. It is a learning curve for EVERY mom. Even when you have your second, third, fourth, etc. child… you can’t assume that everything that you did for your first child will will for your subsequent children. Every baby is unique.
I’m sure you have fears and concerns when it bones to breastfeeding. We’ll talk about them in the upcoming weeks.
Aside From Health, What Are The Greatest Intangible Benefits That Breastfeeding Provides?
But you know what else would be improved? The peace, love, unity and collaboration in the world at large. I know it sounds like a stretch to say this. However, think about it.
Who are the people who resort to violence in the world? Those that came from solid, loving households? Or those that came from broken homes?
Those who had parents who could focus on loving them? Or those who thought that tending to other things in life was more important than their child’s needs?
Breastfeeding is one of the most important time and love investments you can make into your child’s overall wellbeing.
Now It’s Your Turn
What was the most surprising thing you learned about breastfeeding?
Share with us in the comments below.